vendors are a community of entrepreneurs who sustain on informal livelihood”.
vendors have been in existence since ancient times. In all civilizations,
ancient and medieval, one reads accounts of travelling merchants who not only
sold their products in the town by going from house to house but they also
traded in neighbouring countries. Perhaps ancient and medieval civilizations
were tolerant to these wandering traders and that is why they flourished.
Vending is an important source of employment for a large number of urban poor
as it requires low skills and small financial input. Broadly defined, a street
vendor is a person who offers goods and services for sale to the public without
having a permanent built-up structure but with a temporary statics structure or
Street vendors could be stationary and occupy
space on the pavements or other public or private areas, or could be mobile, and
move from place to place carrying their wares in cycles or baskets on their
heads. In recent times we find that street vendors are rarely treated with the
same measure of dignity and tolerance. They are targeted by municipalities and
police in the urban areas as illegal traders. The urban middle class complains
constantly on how these vendors make urban life a living hell as they block
pavements, create traffic problems and also engage in anti-social activities.
Though more often than not, the same representative of the middle class prefer
to buy goods from street vendors as they are cheaper even though the quality is
good as those in the overpriced departmental stores and shopping malls.
Actually this is wrong perception in the mind of people because of these street
vendors, they made many middle class people life easier and get all the things
vending is one of the most visible and important sustainable occupations in the
urban informal sector in India. Street vendors are identified as self-employed
workers in the informal sector who offer their labor to sell goods and services
on the street without having any permanent built up structure (National policy
on urban street vendors NPUSV, 2006). Street vendors play a very important
role in the urban economy of India by providing employment and income and other
items. They sell different kinds of goods such as clothes and hosiery, leather
made items, molded plastic goods, and various household necessities, which are
manufactured in small scale or home-based industries where large numbers of
workers are employed (Bhowmik, 2001).
It would hardly be possible for the
manufacturers to market their own products. Apart from non-agricultural
products, street vendors also sell vegetables and fruits. Thus, they provide a
market 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. They
support the urban rich by providing daily requirements right on their doorsteps
youth prefer to purchase clothes and accessories from street vendors, because
the products the vendors sell are typically cheaper than those found in formal
retail outlets. People from lower income groups also benefit from the vendors,
spending a large portion of their income on purchases from street vendors
because their goods are cheap and affordable.
According to the Government of India, around
10 million people in India as a whole, including about 250,000 vendors in
Mumbai, are dependent for their livelihood on street vending (National Policy
on Urban Street Vendors, 2006). Interestingly, Mumbai contains the largest
number of street vendors among all the major cities in India. The concept of
“decent work” was introduced by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in
1999 in a report by its director-general to the 87th International Labor
Conference. The main goal is to promote “opportunities for women and men to
obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and
human dignity” (ILO, 1999). The four major pillars recommended by the ILO (1999)
as essential to achieve the goal of decent work are opportunities for
employment and income, respect for rights at work, social protection, and a
strong social dialogue. Taking these four aims into consideration ILO has
defined decent work as three productive work in which rights are protected, which
generates an adequate income with adequate social protection. It also means
sufficient work, in the sense that all should have full access to
income-earning opportunities. It marks the high road to economic and social
development, a road in which employment, income and social protection can be
achieved without compromising worker’s rights and social standards.
evolving global economy offers opportunities from which all can gain, but these
have to be grounded in participatory social institutions if they are to confer
legitimacy and sustainability on economic and social policy(ILO, 1999). From
the definition given above, it can be seen,
Decent work must ensure an adequate
Workers have to have social protection
coverage, which must be achieved without compromising worker’s rights and
Workers must have the right to work and
right at work.
The important dimension of decent work
is a strong social dialogue, so that workers can raise their voices in
collective bargaining. 1
Reasons for growth of street
vending in global.
is substantial increase in the number of street vendors in the major cities
around the world, especially in the developing countries of Asia, Latin America
Firstly, lack of gainful employment coupled
with poverty in rural areas has pushed people out of their villages in search
of a better existence in the cities. These migrants do not possess the skills
or the education to enable them to find better paid, secure employment in the
formal sector and they have to settle for work in the informal sector.
there is another section of the population in these countries who are forced to
join the informal sector. These are workers who were employed in the formal
sector. They lost their jobs because of closures, down-sizing or mergers in the
industries they worked in and they or their family members had to seek low paid
work in the informal sector in order to survive. Both causes are directly
related to globalization.
feature of globalization is displacement of workers in large enterprises. A
large section of these workers or their spouses turned to street vending as an
alternative source of income. This can be seen in the case of several Asian
countries such as India, Mongolia, Philippines etc., in Brazil, Mexico and
Columbia in Latin America and in South Africa, Kenya etc. In Asia the small
group of wealthy and dynamic countries known as Asian Tigers faced a sudden
slump in the financial sector in 1997. As a result street vending increased
rapidly after this. Hence we find that there are links between street vending
and global trends in the economy. This is more so for countries that have
undergone structural adjustment as a prelude to opening up their markers to
welcome foreign trade and foreign investment.
these new features of shift of labor from organized manufacturing sector or the
financial sector to the informal sector, the traditional reasons giving rise to
street vending still hold. The main reasons why a section of the working
population takes to street vending are lack of or insufficient skills to get
regular jobs, low investment required and the comparative ease at entering the
trade. These are the reasons why a large number of the rural poor take to
street vending when they migrate to urban areas in search of work.
Hence we find that street vendors are mainly
those who are unsuccessful or unable to get regular jobs. This section of the
urban poor tries to solve their problems through their own resources. Unlike
other sections of the urban population they do not demand that government
create jobs for them, or engage in begging, stealing or extortion. They try to
live their life with dignity and self-respect through hard work. Almost all
studies on these workers the world over show that they work for long hours and
under trying conditions though their earnings are highly disproportionate to
the efforts they put in.
The poorer sections too are able to
procure their basic necessities mainly through street vendors, as the goods
sold are cheap. The study on street vendors showed that the lower income groups
spend a higher proportion of their income in making purchases from street
vendors mainly because their goods are cheap and thus affordable.
The total employment provided through
street vending becomes larger if we take into account the number of industries
it sustains by marketing their products. A lot of the goods sold, such as
clothes and hosiery, leather and mounded plastic goods, household goods and
some items of food, are manufactured in small scale or home-based industries.
These industries engage a large number of workers but they could have hardly
marketed their products on their own. In this way street vendors provide
valuable service by helping sustain employment in these industries.
Hence, to quote a statement of Ela Bhat, the
founder of Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), though street vendors are
viewed as a problem for urban governance, they are in fact the solution to some
of the problems of the urban poor. By providing cheaper commodities street
vendors are in effect providing subsidy to the urban poor, something that the
government should have done.
HAD HISTORY OF GIVEN LICENSE TO THE STREET VENDOR
Bengaluru (formerly known as
Bangalore) is one of the cities in the country that wants to emerge as a world
class city. It is a major hub for information technology and other allied
services Such as Business Process Outsourcing, In such upper end surroundings
the lowly street vendor becomes an eye sore. The city therefore does not have a
tolerant view towards street vending.
This may not be the case in the past. Till
about 25 years ago there was a licensing system for street vendors. Every cart
or bicycle was given a sticker by the municipal authorities that would permit
the owner to sell wares on the streets. The owner had to pay a fee of 25 paise
a month and a renewal fee of Rs. 5 every year. This was told to us by some of
the municipal officers and some of the older street vendors.
above licensing system has been discontinued by the authorities. Earlier
Bengaluru (then Bangalore) had a municipality. Later, as the city grew, this
was upgraded to Municipal Corporation. This body is known as Bruhath Bengaluru
Mahanagar Palike (BBMP). There are adjoining urban areas that fall under the
municipality. Street vending is controlled by three of the departments of BBMP.
These are, revenue department, estates department, which looks after the
corporation’s property, and the health department. Each department claims to
have regulatory powers over street vending.
The health department looks into health
and hygiene, especially in the case of food vendors. The estates department has
control over public space while the revenue department is entrusted with tax
collection. Over and above all these there are the police and traffic police
that exert control on public space, namely roads and pavements. Vendors
complained that all these departments collected ‘taxes’ but gave no receipts.
In other words these officials were in fact collecting bribes in the name of
taxes. The total amount for each vendor varied between Rs 5 to Rs. 40 a day
depending on the turnover. In areas outside the BBMP the bribes range between
Rs 5 and Rs 15 a day.
CONTRIBUTION TO URBAN ECONOMY
vendors are an integral part of urban economy around the world, offering easy
access to a wide range of goods and services in public spaces. They sell
everything from fresh vegetables to prepared foods, materials to garments and
crafts, from consumer electronics to auto repairs to haircuts.
The informal economic monitoring study
(IEMS) revealed ways in which street vendors in 5 cities strengthened their
Most street vendors provide the main
source of income for their household, bringing food to their families and
paying school fees for their children.
These informal workers have strong
linkages to the informal economic. Over half of the IEMS samples said they
source the goods they sell from formal enterprises. Many customers work in
Many vendors try to keep the street
clean and safe for their customers and provide them with friendly personal
Street vendors create jobs, and not only
for themselves but for the porters, security guards, transport operators,
storage providers, and others.
Many generates revenue for cities
through payments for licenses and permits, and fees and fines, and certain
kinds of taxes, this was true of two third of street vendors in the IEMS
vendor also add vibrancy to urban life and in many places is considered a
cornerstone of historical and cultural heritage. For examples, street who sell
“Chai-wallahs,” are an important part of Indian culture heritage.
their contributions, street vendors face many challenges, are often overlooked
as economic agents and unlike other businesses, and hindered rather then helped
by municipal policies and practices. Street vendors are large and very visible
work force in cities, and yet it is difficult to accurately estimate their
numbers. Official statistics are available for some countries. though they may
underestimate the population engage in street vending.
level statistic reveals that street vendor account for 11 percent of total
urban employment in India.
Statement of the problem
outside, golgappa sellers and their goods are exposed to strong sun, heavy rain
and extreme heat or cold. Unless they work in markets, most do not have shelter
or running water and toilets near their workplace. Inadequate access to clean
water is a major concern of prepared food vendors.
Golgappa sellers faced other routine
occupational hazards. They are exposed to physical risks due to lack of proper
fire safety equipment. Economic downturns have a big impact on vendors’
earnings. In 2009, an inclusive cities research project found many street
vendors reported are drop in consumer demand and an increase in competition as
the 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 due
to higher cost of goods. Competition had increased as further as large
retailers aggressively tried to attract customers.
In 2012 informal economic monitoring study
confirmed that rising price and increase competition were still affecting
street vendors in several cities. Vendors said their stock was more expensive,
but difficulty passing on rising cost to customers, who expect to negotiate low
prices 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 verses
collective rights, health safety regulations- especially where food is involved
and urban planning governance.
Urban policies and local economic development
strategies rarely prioritize livelihood security for informal workers. Urban
renewal projects, infrastructure upgrades and mega events routinely displace
street vendors from natural markets living the most vulnerable without a
practice documentation shows vendors can help with urban management challenges
like crime and cleaning. Also, basic infrastructure – shelter, toilets,
electricity and water- can both improve vendor work environments and make
public space safer, more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.
Street vendors have poor social protection and their
working conditions on the streets expose them to a variety of safety and health
issues. The SDNT- ILO study on Mumbai found that around 85 per cent of the
street vendors complained of stress related diseases – migraine, hyper acidity,
hyper tension and high blood pressure. In general, there are more men vendors
than women vendors in India.
Vendors are often regarded as public nuisance. They
are accused of depriving pedestrians of their space, causing traffic jams and
having links with anti-social activities. The municipal authorities and housing
societies, aided by the media, have targeted vendors at frequent intervals.
“The lack of recognition of the role of the street vendors culminates in a
multitude of problems faced by them: obtaining licensee, insecurity of
earnings, insecurity of place of hawking, gratifying officers and musclemen,
constant eviction threat, fines and harassment by traffic policemen.”
The average earnings of street vendors are low –
ranging between 40 and 80 rupees per day. They work under gruelling conditions
for long hours and are frequently harassed by the municipal authorities and the
police. A large part of the vendors’ income goes in bribes and ‘protection
money’. Sharit Bhowmik quotes the study on street vendors to estimate that the
vendors pay between 10 to 20% of their earnings as rent.
Need of the study
faced by the Golgappa street vendor in India
The majority of Golgappa street vendor
across the India facing a lot of difficulties in their daily work hours, for
most of Golgappa street vendors, trading from the pavements is full of
uncertainties. They are constantly harassed by the authorities. The local
bodies conduct eviction drives to clear the pavements of these encroachers and
in most cases confiscate their goods. A municipal raid is like a cat and mouse
game with municipal workers chasing street vendors away while these people try
to run away and hide from these marauders. Confiscation of their goods entails
heavy fines for recovery. In most cases it means that the vendor has to take
loans from private sources (at exorbitant interests) to either recover whatever
remains of his confiscated goods or to restart his business. Besides these
sudden raids, Golgappa Street vendors normally have to give regularly bribe to
the authorities and police in order to carry out their daily business on the
streets. . Inability of vendors
to pay monitory bribes results in taking away half their wares. Contrarily,
however, the services provided by street vendors have been acknowledged by the
Supreme Court and National Street Vendor Policy as noble. Considering that
major population of India is below the poverty line, which cannot go to huge
malls to buy even basic necessities, it is through buying goods from street
vendors that they make ends meet at home.
these mean that a substantive income from street vending is spent on greasing
the palms of unscrupulous authorities or to private money lenders. In fact in
most cases this people have to survive in a hostile environment though they are
The study will help the researcher to get
wider understanding on the various problems faced by the Golgappa street vendor
in the city and how their working and living condition of the along with
various other problems.
Another important aspect will be bringing
to the notice of the government officials and public to be aware of the street
vendor’s problems. Also let them to
aware of their rights to form a vending union and struggle for their own rights
which the government has been provide them as street vendors act 2014,
Street vendors are an integral part of urban economies
around the world, offering easy access to a wide range of goods and services in
public spaces. They sell everything from fresh vegetables to prepared foods,
from building materials to garments and crafts, from consumer electronics to
auto repairs to haircuts.(
to the Street vendor act 2014 of India, ”Street vendor” means a person
engaged in vending of articles, goods, wares, food items or merchandise of
everyday use or offering services to the
general public, in a street ,Jane side walk, footpath, pavement, public park or
any other public place or private area. From a temporary built up structure or
by moving from place to place and includes hawker, peddler, squatter and all be
street vendor is broadly defined as a person who offers goods for sale to the
public at large without having a permanent built up structure from which to
sell. Street vendors may be stationary in the sense that they occupy space on
the pavements or other public/private spaces or, they may be mobile in the sense
that move from place to place by carrying their wares on push carts or in
baskets on their heads. In this essay, the term street vendor includes
stationary as well as mobile vendors and it incorporates all other local/region
specific 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 public
place, such as at a market or fair. It is often sold from a portable food booth, food cart, or food truck and meant for
What is GOLGAPPA means Panipuri it is a
common street snack in several regions of the Indian subcontinent. It
consists 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 street