CHAPTER-IINTRODUCTION”Streetvendors are a community of entrepreneurs who sustain on informal livelihood”.Streetvendors have been in existence since ancient times.
In all civilizations,ancient and medieval, one reads accounts of travelling merchants who not onlysold their products in the town by going from house to house but they alsotraded in neighbouring countries. Perhaps ancient and medieval civilizationswere tolerant to these wandering traders and that is why they flourished.Vending is an important source of employment for a large number of urban pooras it requires low skills and small financial input. Broadly defined, a streetvendor is a person who offers goods and services for sale to the public withouthaving a permanent built-up structure but with a temporary statics structure ormobile stall.
Street vendors could be stationary and occupyspace on the pavements or other public or private areas, or could be mobile, andmove from place to place carrying their wares in cycles or baskets on theirheads. In recent times we find that street vendors are rarely treated with thesame measure of dignity and tolerance. They are targeted by municipalities andpolice in the urban areas as illegal traders. The urban middle class complainsconstantly on how these vendors make urban life a living hell as they blockpavements, create traffic problems and also engage in anti-social activities.Though more often than not, the same representative of the middle class preferto buy goods from street vendors as they are cheaper even though the quality isgood as those in the overpriced departmental stores and shopping malls.Actually this is wrong perception in the mind of people because of these streetvendors, they made many middle class people life easier and get all the thingsin cheaper.
Streetvending is one of the most visible and important sustainable occupations in theurban informal sector in India. Street vendors are identified as self-employedworkers in the informal sector who offer their labor to sell goods and serviceson the street without having any permanent built up structure (National policyon urban street vendors NPUSV, 2006). Street vendors play a very importantrole in the urban economy of India by providing employment and income and otheritems. They sell different kinds of goods such as clothes and hosiery, leathermade items, molded plastic goods, and various household necessities, which aremanufactured in small scale or home-based industries where large numbers ofworkers are employed (Bhowmik, 2001). It would hardly be possible for themanufacturers to market their own products. Apart from non-agriculturalproducts, street vendors also sell vegetables and fruits. Thus, they provide amarket for both home-based manufacturing products and agricultural products,supporting small-scale and home based workers as well as agricultural workers.Therefore, several sectors and types of labor are linked with the street vendors.
Street vendors also support the urban rich as well as the urban poor. Theysupport the urban rich by providing daily requirements right on their doorsteps(Tiwari, 2000). Urbanyouth prefer to purchase clothes and accessories from street vendors, becausethe products the vendors sell are typically cheaper than those found in formalretail outlets. People from lower income groups also benefit from the vendors,spending a large portion of their income on purchases from street vendorsbecause their goods are cheap and affordable. According to the Government of India, around10 million people in India as a whole, including about 250,000 vendors inMumbai, are dependent for their livelihood on street vending (National Policyon Urban Street Vendors, 2006).
Interestingly, Mumbai contains the largestnumber of street vendors among all the major cities in India. The concept of”decent work” was introduced by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in1999 in a report by its director-general to the 87th International LaborConference. The main goal is to promote “opportunities for women and men toobtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security andhuman dignity” (ILO, 1999). The four major pillars recommended by the ILO (1999)as essential to achieve the goal of decent work are opportunities foremployment and income, respect for rights at work, social protection, and astrong social dialogue. Taking these four aims into consideration ILO hasdefined decent work as three productive work in which rights are protected, whichgenerates an adequate income with adequate social protection.
It also meanssufficient work, in the sense that all should have full access toincome-earning opportunities. It marks the high road to economic and socialdevelopment, a road in which employment, income and social protection can beachieved without compromising worker’s rights and social standards.Theevolving global economy offers opportunities from which all can gain, but thesehave to be grounded in participatory social institutions if they are to conferlegitimacy and sustainability on economic and social policy(ILO, 1999). Fromthe definition given above, it can be seen, · Decent work must ensure an adequateincome.· Workers have to have social protectioncoverage, which must be achieved without compromising worker’s rights andsocial standards.
· Workers must have the right to work andright at work. · The important dimension of decent workis a strong social dialogue, so that workers can raise their voices incollective bargaining. 1 Reasons for growth of streetvending in global.Thereis substantial increase in the number of street vendors in the major citiesaround the world, especially in the developing countries of Asia, Latin Americaand Africa. Firstly, lack of gainful employment coupledwith poverty in rural areas has pushed people out of their villages in searchof a better existence in the cities.
These migrants do not possess the skillsor the education to enable them to find better paid, secure employment in theformal sector and they have to settle for work in the informal sector. Secondly,there is another section of the population in these countries who are forced tojoin the informal sector. These are workers who were employed in the formalsector.
They lost their jobs because of closures, down-sizing or mergers in theindustries they worked in and they or their family members had to seek low paidwork in the informal sector in order to survive. Both causes are directlyrelated to globalization. Anotherfeature of globalization is displacement of workers in large enterprises. Alarge section of these workers or their spouses turned to street vending as analternative source of income. This can be seen in the case of several Asiancountries such as India, Mongolia, Philippines etc., in Brazil, Mexico andColumbia in Latin America and in South Africa, Kenya etc.
In Asia the smallgroup of wealthy and dynamic countries known as Asian Tigers faced a suddenslump in the financial sector in 1997. As a result street vending increasedrapidly after this. Hence we find that there are links between street vendingand global trends in the economy. This is more so for countries that haveundergone structural adjustment as a prelude to opening up their markers towelcome foreign trade and foreign investment.
Besidesthese new features of shift of labor from organized manufacturing sector or thefinancial sector to the informal sector, the traditional reasons giving rise tostreet vending still hold. The main reasons why a section of the workingpopulation takes to street vending are lack of or insufficient skills to getregular jobs, low investment required and the comparative ease at entering thetrade. These are the reasons why a large number of the rural poor take tostreet vending when they migrate to urban areas in search of work.
Hence we find that street vendors are mainlythose who are unsuccessful or unable to get regular jobs. This section of theurban poor tries to solve their problems through their own resources. Unlikeother sections of the urban population they do not demand that governmentcreate jobs for them, or engage in begging, stealing or extortion.
They try tolive their life with dignity and self-respect through hard work. Almost allstudies on these workers the world over show that they work for long hours andunder trying conditions though their earnings are highly disproportionate tothe efforts they put in. The poorer sections too are able toprocure their basic necessities mainly through street vendors, as the goodssold are cheap. The study on street vendors showed that the lower income groupsspend a higher proportion of their income in making purchases from streetvendors mainly because their goods are cheap and thus affordable. The total employment provided throughstreet vending becomes larger if we take into account the number of industriesit sustains by marketing their products. A lot of the goods sold, such asclothes and hosiery, leather and mounded plastic goods, household goods andsome items of food, are manufactured in small scale or home-based industries.These industries engage a large number of workers but they could have hardlymarketed their products on their own.
In this way street vendors providevaluable service by helping sustain employment in these industries. Hence, to quote a statement of Ela Bhat, thefounder of Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), though street vendors areviewed as a problem for urban governance, they are in fact the solution to someof the problems of the urban poor. By providing cheaper commodities streetvendors are in effect providing subsidy to the urban poor, something that thegovernment should have done. BANGALOREHAD HISTORY OF GIVEN LICENSE TO THE STREET VENDOR Bengaluru (formerly known asBangalore) is one of the cities in the country that wants to emerge as a worldclass city. It is a major hub for information technology and other alliedservices Such as Business Process Outsourcing, In such upper end surroundingsthe lowly street vendor becomes an eye sore.
The city therefore does not have atolerant view towards street vending. This may not be the case in the past. Tillabout 25 years ago there was a licensing system for street vendors. Every cartor bicycle was given a sticker by the municipal authorities that would permitthe owner to sell wares on the streets. The owner had to pay a fee of 25 paisea month and a renewal fee of Rs. 5 every year. This was told to us by some ofthe municipal officers and some of the older street vendors.
Theabove licensing system has been discontinued by the authorities. EarlierBengaluru (then Bangalore) had a municipality. Later, as the city grew, thiswas upgraded to Municipal Corporation. This body is known as Bruhath BengaluruMahanagar Palike (BBMP). There are adjoining urban areas that fall under themunicipality. Street vending is controlled by three of the departments of BBMP.
These are, revenue department, estates department, which looks after thecorporation’s property, and the health department. Each department claims tohave regulatory powers over street vending. The health department looks into healthand hygiene, especially in the case of food vendors. The estates department hascontrol over public space while the revenue department is entrusted with taxcollection. Over and above all these there are the police and traffic policethat exert control on public space, namely roads and pavements. Vendorscomplained that all these departments collected ‘taxes’ but gave no receipts.
In other words these officials were in fact collecting bribes in the name oftaxes. The total amount for each vendor varied between Rs 5 to Rs. 40 a daydepending on the turnover. In areas outside the BBMP the bribes range betweenRs 5 and Rs 15 a day. IMPROTANTCONTRIBUTION TO URBAN ECONOMYStreetvendors are an integral part of urban economy around the world, offering easyaccess to a wide range of goods and services in public spaces.
They selleverything from fresh vegetables to prepared foods, materials to garments andcrafts, from consumer electronics to auto repairs to haircuts.Contributions: The informal economic monitoring study(IEMS) revealed ways in which street vendors in 5 cities strengthened theircommunities:· Most street vendors provide the mainsource of income for their household, bringing food to their families andpaying school fees for their children. · These informal workers have stronglinkages to the informal economic. Over half of the IEMS samples said theysource the goods they sell from formal enterprises.
Many customers work informal jobs.· Many vendors try to keep the streetclean and safe for their customers and provide them with friendly personalservice.· Street vendors create jobs, and not onlyfor themselves but for the porters, security guards, transport operators,storage providers, and others.· Many generates revenue for citiesthrough payments for licenses and permits, and fees and fines, and certainkinds of taxes, this was true of two third of street vendors in the IEMSsample. Streetvendor also add vibrancy to urban life and in many places is considered acornerstone of historical and cultural heritage. For examples, street who sell”Chai-wallahs,” are an important part of Indian culture heritage.
Despitetheir contributions, street vendors face many challenges, are often overlookedas economic agents and unlike other businesses, and hindered rather then helpedby municipal policies and practices. Street vendors are large and very visiblework force in cities, and yet it is difficult to accurately estimate theirnumbers. Official statistics are available for some countries.
though they mayunderestimate the population engage in street vending.Nationallevel statistic reveals that street vendor account for 11 percent of totalurban employment in India. Statement of the problemWorkingoutside, golgappa sellers and their goods are exposed to strong sun, heavy rainand extreme heat or cold. Unless they work in markets, most do not have shelteror running water and toilets near their workplace. Inadequate access to cleanwater is a major concern of prepared food vendors. Golgappa sellers faced other routineoccupational hazards. They are exposed to physical risks due to lack of properfire safety equipment. Economic downturns have a big impact on vendors’earnings.
In 2009, an inclusive cities research project found many streetvendors reported are drop in consumer demand and an increase in competition asthe newly unemployment turn to vending for income. A second round of research, done in 2010,found demand had not recovered for most venders and many had to raise price dueto higher cost of goods. Competition had increased as further as largeretailers aggressively tried to attract customers. In 2012 informal economic monitoring studyconfirmed that rising price and increase competition were still affectingstreet vendors in several cities. Vendors said their stock was more expensive,but difficulty passing on rising cost to customers, who expect to negotiate lowprices on the street. More competitions means vendors take home lower earnings.Street vending generates enormous controversy in cities throughout the world.
(Bromley 2000). Debates involve registrations and taxation individual versescollective rights, health safety regulations- especially where food is involvedand urban planning governance. Urban policies and local economic developmentstrategies rarely prioritize livelihood security for informal workers. Urbanrenewal projects, infrastructure upgrades and mega events routinely displacestreet vendors from natural markets living the most vulnerable without aworkplace. Goodpractice documentation shows vendors can help with urban management challengeslike crime and cleaning. Also, basic infrastructure – shelter, toilets,electricity and water- can both improve vendor work environments and makepublic space safer, more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. WorkingConditionsStreet vendors have poor social protection and theirworking conditions on the streets expose them to a variety of safety and healthissues.
The SDNT- ILO study on Mumbai found that around 85 per cent of thestreet vendors complained of stress related diseases – migraine, hyper acidity,hyper tension and high blood pressure. In general, there are more men vendorsthan women vendors in India.Vendors are often regarded as public nuisance. Theyare accused of depriving pedestrians of their space, causing traffic jams andhaving links with anti-social activities.
The municipal authorities and housingsocieties, aided by the media, have targeted vendors at frequent intervals.”The lack of recognition of the role of the street vendors culminates in amultitude of problems faced by them: obtaining licensee, insecurity ofearnings, insecurity of place of hawking, gratifying officers and musclemen,constant eviction threat, fines and harassment by traffic policemen.”WagesThe average earnings of street vendors are low -ranging between 40 and 80 rupees per day. They work under gruelling conditionsfor long hours and are frequently harassed by the municipal authorities and thepolice. A large part of the vendors’ income goes in bribes and ‘protectionmoney’. Sharit Bhowmik quotes the study on street vendors to estimate that thevendors pay between 10 to 20% of their earnings as rent. Need of the study Problemfaced by the Golgappa street vendor in India The majority of Golgappa street vendoracross the India facing a lot of difficulties in their daily work hours, formost of Golgappa street vendors, trading from the pavements is full ofuncertainties.
They are constantly harassed by the authorities. The localbodies conduct eviction drives to clear the pavements of these encroachers andin most cases confiscate their goods. A municipal raid is like a cat and mousegame with municipal workers chasing street vendors away while these people tryto run away and hide from these marauders. Confiscation of their goods entailsheavy fines for recovery.
In most cases it means that the vendor has to takeloans from private sources (at exorbitant interests) to either recover whateverremains of his confiscated goods or to restart his business. Besides thesesudden raids, Golgappa Street vendors normally have to give regularly bribe tothe authorities and police in order to carry out their daily business on thestreets. . Inability of vendorsto pay monitory bribes results in taking away half their wares. Contrarily,however, the services provided by street vendors have been acknowledged by theSupreme Court and National Street Vendor Policy as noble. Considering thatmajor population of India is below the poverty line, which cannot go to hugemalls to buy even basic necessities, it is through buying goods from streetvendors that they make ends meet at home. Allthese mean that a substantive income from street vending is spent on greasingthe palms of unscrupulous authorities or to private money lenders. In fact inmost cases this people have to survive in a hostile environment though they areservice providers.
The study will help the researcher to getwider understanding on the various problems faced by the Golgappa street vendorin the city and how their working and living condition of the along withvarious other problems. Another important aspect will be bringingto the notice of the government officials and public to be aware of the streetvendor’s problems. Also let them toaware of their rights to form a vending union and struggle for their own rightswhich the government has been provide them as street vendors act 2014, Operation definitionStreet vendors are an integral part of urban economiesaround the world, offering easy access to a wide range of goods and services inpublic spaces. They sell everything from fresh vegetables to prepared foods,from building materials to garments and crafts, from consumer electronics toauto repairs to haircuts.
(wiego.org/informal-economy/occupational-groups/street-vendors) Accordingto the Street vendor act 2014 of India, ”Street vendor” means a personengaged in vending of articles, goods, wares, food items or merchandise ofeveryday use or offering services to thegeneral public, in a street ,Jane side walk, footpath, pavement, public park orany other public place or private area. From a temporary built up structure orby moving from place to place and includes hawker, peddler, squatter and all beconstrued accordingly, Astreet vendor is broadly defined as a person who offers goods for sale to thepublic at large without having a permanent built up structure from which tosell. Street vendors may be stationary in the sense that they occupy space onthe pavements or other public/private spaces or, they may be mobile in the sensethat move from place to place by carrying their wares on push carts or inbaskets on their heads. In this essay, the term street vendor includesstationary as well as mobile vendors and it incorporates all other local/regionspecific terms used to describe them In this study, the terms ‘street vendor’and ‘hawker’ have the same meaning and they are often interchanged. Street food is ready-to-eat food or drink sold by a hawker, or vendor, in a street or other publicplace, such as at a market or fair.
It is often sold from a portable food booth, food cart, or food truck and meant forimmediate consumption.What is GOLGAPPA means Panipuri it is acommon street snack in several regions of the Indian subcontinent. Itconsists of a round, hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of flavored water,tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion and chickpeas.Those who is selling this street snack on the road is called Golgappa streetvendors, 1 www.ilo.org