Empowering the Street Vendors in Changing Indian Cities

Street vending is an important source of livelihood for nearly 2.5% of Indian population.  A substantial number of vendors are found in the urban areas. In order to safeguard livelihood and make this profession more profitable and respectable, B.M.C framed a policy for regularizing the vending profession by developing the concept of dedicated vending zones.

It is a unique case which witness collaboration of public, private and community organizations for building a market which works exclusively for the urban poor (Street Vendors). B.M.C along with NASVI conducted the joint survey, Government of Orissa provided the land and an advertising agency build the shops in return of securing advertising rights over it. The vendors also invested in the construction of aesthetic vending kiosks. The necessary funds were disbursed by S.B.I in form of loans.

All the participating partners were benefited in due course of time. The new market thus developed improved business of the vendors, B.M.C got awards and appreciation for beautification of the city along with a new source of revenue. Vendor’s organization NASVI got the motivating factor for extending the struggle to implement this new innovative model in various other Indian cities.

Bhubaneswar has now developed vendors market which not only optimizes the profit of vendors but has enhanced the overall looks of city. There is unprecedented improvement in sense of self-worth and satisfaction among the vendors. Taking the betterment of vendors to another level, several social security plans have been introduced which will contribute to improve the lifestyle of the street vendors.

The model has immense replicability capacity in other Indian cities. Such innovative model  not only legitimize street vending but also give rise to a  sustainable market which has capacity to change the lives of millions of entrepreneurs earning their living from streets.

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