Street Vendors Seek Govt Grant to Help Restart Their Livelihood

Published: 24th December 2015 05:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th December 2015 05:21 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI:  Pointing out that street vendors in the city suffered a huge loss due the recent flood, members of the Tamil Nadu Street Vending Workers Federation on Wednesday urged the State government to implement the Tamil Nadu Street Vendors Scheme 2015 and provide grants to re-start their  livelihood.

Addressing the media here, State general secretary of the Federation, V Maheshwaran, said the Tamil Nadu Government Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department had issued  Order No. 159, in which it is mentioned that a survey of the street vendors will be undertaken and a certificate with certain terms and conditions will be issued so that they will not be chased by the police. But, so far, no survey has been conducted. The members urged the town vending committee to conduct the survey and issue certificates within six months; only then can they start their livelihood in peace.

Noting that Koyambedu and T Nagar have more number of street vendors, the federation along with Tamil Nadu Forum for Creche and Child Care Services (TN-FORCES) roped in college students from Rajagiri College of Social Science, Kalmaserry Kerala to conduct a survey on the assessment of loss caused due to the floods. The survey, for which the status of 304 street vendors was looked into, revealed that most of them incurred a loss of Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 due to the rains.

Around 80 per cent of the respondents were stationery vendors and remaining 20 per cent were mobile vendors. And 53.3 per cent of them landed into this business due to unemployment and 70 per cent had taken loan to set up this business. The rains had ruined it all and now they were left clueless. They urged that the government provide them with houses and a relief fund. They also urged that nationalised banks to provide loans with minimum interest. “Both my house and my shop have been washed away. Now I sleep on the streets of Koyambedu and am often chased by cops. If the government issues the certificate at least I can start a living,’ said Saroja, said a vegetable vendor at Koyambedu.

Another vendor from Koyambedu, M Mala, said: “I suffered a loss of Rs 50,000 and now all the people who lent me money are asking for it back. I have to make an earning by selling vegetables on the street, but we are chased away by the police daily. They tell us to go to every street and sell vegetables. Old people like me find it very difficult.”

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