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National Association of Street Vendors of India NASVI

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NASVI to organize grand Street Food Festival in Delhi from 25 to 28 December 2014

Coming awesome culinary delight in winter

NASVI to organize grand Street Food Festival in Delhi from 25 to 28 December 

New Delhi, 13 November:

Promoting, professionalizing and branding street foods in its own master style, the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) on Wednesday announced to organize a grand Street Food Festival at the sprawling Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium complex in Delhi from 25 to 28 December. The theme slogan of this culinary carnival would be ‘Swad hai, Romanch hai, Street Foods ki Baat hi kuchh aur hai’.

This winter delight set to attract thousands of foodies across India over three days will have master street food vendors of different regions of India and other countries with their signature dishes  having age old stamps of culinary tradition and culture.

“Not just a unique battle of tastes, the carnival will be an advocacy event with a difference wherein the executives and functionaries of tourism, food processing, health, labour and employment departments and boards, and representatives of culinary institutes, development agencies, media and academic institutions would join together to share, acknowledge and celebrate the potentials and the possibilities of street food vending sector”, said Arbind Singh, NASVI national coordinator while announcing the dates and venue of the festival.

“It will be an occasion to reassert that the grassroots street food entrepreneurs play a wonderful role in poverty reduction, employment generation and enterprise building, and they make cities charming for all”, Mr. Singh added.

NASVI believes that the world today is witnessing a surge in street food preservation and professionalization and the street food advocates and entrepreneurs across countries are finding out ways to create new possibilities for regeneration of the street cuisine culture. Now it is widely recognized that the street food is not just palatable, inexpensive and convenient, but also is a large source of employment generation for thousands and thousands of informal workers.

According to NASVI, many a countries protect and promote street foods as street food enterprise contributes immensely to local economy and tourism. The concept of traditional street food has acquired new dimensions in developed countries, with food streets/ food centres emerging as new tourist attractions.  Evidences also suggest that the street food prepared with safe handling of ingredients and water contain more nutritional values in comparison to the foods served in hotels and restaurants.

NASVI is a network and advocacy platform of 740 street vendor organizations, trade unions and community based groups across 23 states of India. It gives voice and visibility to the street vendors, brings their issues of livelihood, social security and human rights to the forefront and engages with national and state governments as well as municipal bodies for protection of their rights and entitlements through policy and legislative instruments and good governance. It motivates street vendors for organizing, enables them to build their organizations and helps them up scale their entrepreneurship in a secured and dignified environment.

It runs street food professionalization programs and works in favour of the issues and stakes of street food vendors. Organizing street food festivals is a major component of NASVI led street food advocacy movement.

NASVI has time and again demonstrated its proven capacities in organizing Street Food Festivals with a pool of efficient street food vendors and teams of committed staff and representatives. The managerial capacity and the outreach planning have always turned events highly successful. The Street Food Festivals organized by NASVI in the national capital Delhi in November 2011 and December 2012 evoked huge response of the citizenry and attracted a large number of crowds. A team of Singapore Tourism also joined the 2012 festival and invited NASVI to participate in the World Street Food Congress.

A team of eight lead street food vendors joined the World Street Food Congress in Singapore from 31 May to 9 June, 2013. It was a great opportunity for Indian street food vendors of Dharwar and Mysore of Karnataka, Delhi and Patna. They gained a lot in terms of exposure, cross learning and professional planning.

Early this year, Bihar government also had invited NASVI to join the Bihar Diwas celebrations in Patna and Delhi.

Of late, NASVI has also started engaging with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for training and registration of street food vendors. In October this year, NASVI had organized a huge training of street food vendors on food safety and hygiene in Delhi.

NASVI feels that the street food vendors are disadvantaged because there is usually no support from formal institutions to improve their businesses or protect them from external influences. The usual response at policy level towards street food vendors is poor. They often have no legal status, resulting in victimisation by the police, public health institutions and local government authorities.

In such a situation, NASVI endeavours to build  social solidarity with street food vendors through promoting econo-culinary (economic and culinary) entrepreneurship of street food vendors, their exposures and capacity building and formation of their enterprise based company and collectives with their own holding stakes.

NASVI is also in the process of promoting a street food company. It would be a commercially viable and sustainable business structure to upscale the existing businesses of the street food vendors. It would be a Holding Company registered under Indian Companies Act with a capital investment of fifty lakhs. Food Vendors and other likeminded people would take equity stake in proposed holding company.  The constitution of the holding company will be designed to protect the mission and value system to ensure the long term viability of the organization. The Food Vendors will have the majority control of the shares in the Holding Company. Key roles of the Holding Company along with market facilitation will be capitalizing the old and new vendors company by attracting capital from institutions, private investors, employees and likeminded individuals.

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