With the Rajya Sabha passing the Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending Bill, 2014 (Feb.20), street vendors can heave a sigh of relief. There are more than 10 million urban street vendors in India, and most of them lead a hand-to-mouth existence. Many are migrants to towns and cities and face harassment at every step. What is welcome is the provision of separate vending zones for them.
In a way, street vending is also a type of dignified self-employment which is, unfortunately, looked down upon. Let us hope the only drawback, the lack of vendors’ representatives in the “Town vending authority”, will be looked into.