Govt. Bulldozers Roll Over Livelihoods

Street vendors struggle for their livelihood in Jharkhand.

About the video: Street vendors of Madhupur city in Jharkhand have lost their shops and only source of income because of the ‘Atikraman Hatao Abhiyan’ (encroachment removal drive) ruling to clear illegal encroachments on public roads and government land. With only a short notice from the municipal official, the hawkers had to leave with no place to relocate their stalls. Now they struggle to provide for themselves and their families.

The Community Correspondent says: Mukesh Rajak, India Unheard Community Correspondent from Madhupur, Jharkhand says: “The government is constructing shops in other areas but these can only be rented by the wealthier shopkeepers. The local street vendors however do not have the money to pay for these stores. They need a market where they can sell their goods on basis of an affordable rent.”

The Rights of the People: With approximately 1 crore streets vendors across India, the Supreme Court has decided that the hawker needs to be recognized as integral part of urban society and economics. National Policy for Urban Street Vendors promises that the vendors will be involved in development projects concerning their livelihood. The main objectives of the policy are to give the streets vendors a legal status and make infrastructure and facilities available to them so they can sell their goods.

Call to Action: The vendors hit by the encroachment removal rule have neither been involved nor integrated in the process of the development project. The  ‘Atikraman Hatao Abhiyan’ has no appropriate provisions for the rehabilitation and the relocation of the lakhs of vendors and their families who have lost their livelihoods to the drive. The street vendors demand their basic right to livelihood. They request an appointed, affordable space where they can continue to sell their wares and earn their daily bread.

Links:

Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation: http://mhupa.gov.in/policies/natpol.htm

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