Street food has been an integral part of the city culture, and street vendors should not be evicted for the sake of creating space for vehicles. This is what most participants observed at the two-day workshop on ‘Jeevanpath-Livelihood Security of Marginalised Women in Hyderabad through Street Food’ on Wednesday.
The workshop was organised by Sannihita in association with Sustainable Hyderabad Project (SHP). Street food outlets not only offer food at affordable prices but also provide sustenance to many poor families, V. Usha Rani, Director, Sannihita - Centre for Women and Girl Child Society, said during the workshop.
“Street vending is usually taken up by poor migrants and is a major source of sustenance for the whole family, particularly women. Hence, authorities should promote street vending by including them under Self Help Groups,” she argued. There is a need for integrated policies addressing the problems of both street vendors and motorists, she observed.
Speaking on the occasion, D. Laxman Yadav, president, Ekta Footpath Vendors Association, stressed the need to inform street vendors about the latest policies that were being implemented for their benefit.
“The Government is bringing out policies to regulate street vending, but a majority of street vendors are ignorant of them and fail to reap the benefits of such policies,” he complained. This apart, clear guidelines about street vending have to be announced so that there is no scope for arbitrary ‘attacks’ on them by law enforcing officials, he observed.
Vendors from Hyderabad, Guntur, Nellore and East and West Godavari Districts participated in the workshop. To make street vending a sustainable and healthy venture policymakers should address the underlying problems facing the vendors, Ms. Usha Rani said.
The Government has to take a proactive role by taking up steps like issuing ID cards, providing training, establishing a grievance cell to deal with harassment and providing space in community halls and government lands, she added.
Research Officer at the Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas, Rudra Mohanty, AP Mahila Abhivrudhi Samstha representative Kalamani, Jeevan Kumar of the Human Rights Forum and SHP representatives Anne Dahmen and M. Bharath Bhushan spoke.