On March 14, 2016, National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), StreetNet Affiliate, held a National Workshop on Town Vending Committee (TVC) in New Delhi, India.
The objectives of the workshop were: to review progress on Street Vendors Law with special focus on provisions of Town Vending Committee, its functioning, role and status in different states as well as revitalization of the TVCs.
The workshop was inaugurated jointly by Director National Urban Livelihood Mission, Mr Avnish Mishra, ILO Senior Specialist, Mr Markus Ruck, representative of Dehradun Municipal Corporation and Vice President of NASVI Shri Bhaskar Urs.
Welcoming the participants, who were TVC member’s representatives from different cities, people from the government, civil society organizations, advocates, street vendor leaders etc.
NASVI Coordinator, Mr. Arbind Singh, briefed the objective of the workshop and pointed that there is a number of laws in the country that we do not know even the names of many of them. But the Law on “Street Vendors” 2014 is very unique as it focuses on the livelihood aspect of the vendors.
While the world clamors for people participation in governance and labour activists search for negotiation mechanisms for informal workers, India enacted a Law for Street Vendors in 2014 which mandated setting up of multi stake holder Town Vending Committee (TVC) in every city with 40% participation of street vendors 33% of which have to be women.
With its extensive efforts NASVI has been able to make a critical difference over the last few years in the living and working conditions of the street vendors.
NASVI began focusing on need to enact a law for street vendors. On 19thFebruary, 2014, the Parliament passed the Street Vendors’ Bill. The new Law is called the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 and it came into force on 1stMay, 2014.
In the above-mentioned context, NASVI organized a one day workshop with TVC representatives of street vendors of 66 cities from 20 states. The day long workshop deliberated on the issue of functioning of TVCs and come out with guidelines and concrete recommendations.
NASVI is presently focused on implementation of the Street Vendors Act across India. 8 State Governments have already prepared the scheme for implementation. NASVI is also partnering with State Governments and Municipal Bodies for implementation of the Act.
TVCs are to be headed by the Chief Executive Officers of the Municipal Bodies and with representation from all important stakeholders - Police and Owning Authority, Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs), Market Associations, Banks etc. These TVCs are empowered to recommend to the local authority any or ever action to be taken for street vendors.
Mr. Arbind underlined that the Town Vending Committee forms the heart of the Act. As against the workers involved in formal sector where they have the adequate mechanism to put their demands in front of their employer through unions, etc., the informal sector workers lacked the formal mechanism and ways to put forth their demand.
TVC provides them a platform where the street vendors could talk freely and fiercely with the policy makers. As the TVC comprises of representatives from Police dept., Traffic, Banks, Chamber of Commerce, Civil Surgeon, NGOs, vendors representatives, etc. the vendors could freely put up their problems, harassment issues, difficulty in credit linkages, creation of vending zone etc.
“This will set an example for the street vendors of whole world if we handle this body in a planned way”, - noted one of the vendor participant.
As it mandated by the Law that it is the centre piece of the legislation primarily responsible for all kinds of decisions regarding registration, suspension and cancellation of certificate of vending etc. for street vendors. It encourages citizen’s participation. It will be an example for all informal sector workers.
STREET VENDORS’ Act, 2014 - Major provisions
Representatives from different states shared their experience indicating on formation of the TVCs in their states and on smoothly done surveys. One of them stressed that only because of strong organizing the Municipal Corporation is forced to listen to the vendors and has to take their suggestions positively. However, others underlined that the Law breakers are stronger than the Law abiders.
Markus Ruck, ILO representative made presentation on social security and protection. He shared his experiences from across different cities and also from different countries emphasizing that according to the ILO everybody should have the right to housing, education and health.
Mr. Markus noted that Social security floor should be monitored regularly.
The workshop concluded with a vote of thanks and a promise to follow up on the various issues raised.
There is also a portuguese version of the Blog where one can access personal updates on news and events. It can be found on this link: http://streetnetbrasil.wordpress.com/
StreetNet Newsletter 32 [pdf]
INDIA. DP is irreparable, scrap it, say activists. Times of India (10 April 2015).
TANZANIA. College plans to identify trade opportunities for hawkers. Daily News (10 April 2015) by Ludovick Kazoka.
INDIA. No street vendors, cycle rickshaws in Lajpat Nagar market: NGT. Zee News (8 April 2015) by PTI. New Delhi:
BOTSWANA. EDD is the way to go. Mmegi Online (8 April 2015).
USA. Five Courses: Hawkers' street food flair & more. Creative Loafing Tampa Bay (8 April 2015) by Meaghan Habuda.
INDIA. Hawkers may be allowed near Rishi Kapoor, Anil Ambani's Pali Hill residences. DNA India (8 April 2015) by Amrita Nayak Dutta.
ABU-DHABI. Abu Dhabi Municipality raid scares away street hawkers. Gulf News (7 April 2015).
SINGAPORE. Hawker centres to be spruced up with murals and art installations. Channel News Asia (5 April 2015) by Vimita Mohandas.
MALAYSIA. 'Development will be inclusive'. The Star Online (3 April 2015).
INDIA. 'Street vendors denied right to livelihood'. The Hindu (1 April 2015) by K.N. Umesh.
StreetNet International is an alliance of street vendors. It was launched in Durban, South Africa, in November 2002.
Membership-based organizations (unions, co-operatives or associations) directly organizing street vendors, market vendors and/or hawkers among their members, are entitled to affiliate to StreetNet International.
The aim of StreetNet is to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors, market vendors and hawkers (i.e. mobile vendors) and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies