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Vendors: Bleeding Warriors or Fighters with a sword?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi North chapter.

The sun shines bright for most of the Delhi University students but imparts a shadow on the kids seen around working hard to earn their livelihood while taking care of their studies.

A Yodha’s (warrior’s) life is no less than a war. A war to be able to take care of one’s family while struggling for the necessities. If you have ever visited Kamla Nagar Market in Delhi, you must have seen many deprived kids. But what have we done for them so far?

The fault in my stars is not because of me

But my armour will shine because of these wars,

A fight which I haven’t begun yet will end like a warrior.

~Kaushiki Gaur

Be it a hustle-filled day to a relaxing one, a bad day, or a good one, most of our days are incomplete without munching and street shopping. The most pocket-friendly option for buying things or be it devouring includes vendors. Yet, we miss out on the issues that are faced by them.

According to the Ministry of Labour (Government of India), Delhi has an estimated population of 200,000 vendors. However, the average daily earning of a vendor is Rs. 66. Even though these vendors play an important role in facilitating urban households, they lack a subsistence. It was in the year 2014 when vendors got their legal status through the Street Vendors Act of 2014. They form a major share of the informal sector. However, their problems remain unaddressed. Some of them are:

  • Lack of knowledge and resources has stopped most vendors from benefiting from government policies. Most of them don’t know about welfare plans by the Government of India like PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi.
  • Majority of the government policies only tackle one aspect of their problem, whereas others remain neglected. For instance, the Government of India has a Public Distribution System that distributes food grains at affordable prices but neglects other indispensable resources.
  • Many do not possess a license because of the troublesome procedure and technicalities, further worsening their condition.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic led to many concerns about the maintenance of hygiene, resulting in a reduction in sales and affecting the market drastically.
  • Changing weather conditions like rain and haze also hinder sales.
  • Since vendors are paid on a daily basis, they saw an increased lack of security during the pandemic.
  • Government-ordered evictions are a major concern as the majority of vendors don’t possess proper shops.
  • Because of an increase in online shopping, street vendors have faced an enormous loss in their customer base.
  • The ban on single-use plastic and lack of cheaper alternatives for the same has brought vendors under great stress to maintain the easy delivery service setup.

Vendors serve one of the major roles in the country’s economy and their welfare should be a worrying issue at the time, as these small businesses and hawkers boost the economy more than the large enterprises because of their large population. These obstacles are certainly in the government’s knowledge. There are policies to prevent them too, but the lack of proper implementation makes the situation worse. The primary focus should rest on enforcing these programs. Apt training with adaptability to rapidly changing technology is the need of the hour to help vendors emerge as heroes of their crumbling households.

Kaushiki Gaur

Delhi North '24

An old school girl wandering behind words. Hello, I am currently pursuing BA Hons. in Economics. My college world is full of models, not the one you are thinking but economics models, maths, assumptions, basketball, few friends, poems, books and fun. Though my description of fun would not match with your's. I love to interact with new people and know their perspectives. Probably someday, even we can have a conversation! मैं लिखती हूं किसी की याद में नहीं, मगर खुद की तलाश में।