The two-day campaign of the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) to create awareness of the National Policy for Urban Street Vendors and demanding the implementation of the same in Tamil Nadu, concluded here on Friday.

The campaign was also to demand the State government to implement its GO of setting up a Street Vendors Welfare Board in the State.

Speaking at the road side campaign meetings at Ariyamangalam, Tiruverumbur bus stand, Thuvakudi on Friday evening,

Mr. V. Maheshwaran, national coordinator of NASVI, said, street vendors provide valuable services to the urban population while trying to earn a livelihood and it is the duty of both the Centre and the State governments to protect their rights.

Following persistent demand of the NASVI, which accounted for 450 organisations in about 20 states having a total membership of over three lakh vendors, the Centre introduced the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors in 2004.

Later it revised the policy in 2009 adding more teeth to it. The main objective of the policy is to ensure that this important section of the urban population finds recognition for its contribution to the society.

The national policy ensured complete census on street vendors, provision of ID cards and licence to them, allotment of proper place and shops for transacting business, extension of loans at low interest rate.

Vending committees, comprising representatives of street vendors, urban local bodies, police and residents welfare associations, should be formed to monitor the implementation of the policy. Whenever major schemes such as the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, road development/four-lane and other development projects were implemented, care should be taken that street vendors were not affected, he said.

States like Delhi, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand have implemented the National Policy. Tamil Nadu too should follow suit and bring solace to the street vendors.

Mr. Maheshwaran said the Tamil Nadu government issued the GO for the setting up of Street Vendors Welfare Board, but the same has not been formed so far. The government should set up the Board without any further delay.

T. Ambalavanan, president of Jai Hind Unorganised Workers Welfare Organisation spoke.

Similar campaigns were held at Gandhi Market, Santhukadai – Big Bazar Street junction, Chinnakadai Street – Theradiveedi Junction, Srirangam Flower Market, Tiruvanaikoil Bazaar, Chathiram Bus Stand, NSB Road, Palakkarai, on Thursday.

Mr. Maheshwaran told ‘The Hindu' that the NASVI had planned awareness campaigns all over the State from April 8 -27.

The campaigns had already been completed in Chennai, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin so far. Campaigns have been planned at Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Vellore in the next few days before the State seminar at Chennai on April 27.