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Chandigarh

Centre for Civil Society and NASVI commemorate 10 years of the Street Vendors Act

Y.S.Rana | January 25, 2024 06:52 PM

CHANDIGARH: Centre for Civil Society (CCS), in collaboration with the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), hosted an insightful event in Delhi commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, a landmark legislation in India aimed at safeguarding the rights and livelihoods of street vendors.

The event brought together over 120 experts, policymakers, street vendor leaders and other relevant key stakeholders to reflect on the achievements, challenges, and the way forward for the Act.

The highlight of the event was a comprehensive and insightful Keynote Address by Vipin Pal Singh, Director, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) who provided a holistic overview of the progress made over by the Street Vendors Act in the last ten years. He also shared that the Ministry was keen on delving deeper into the matter of vendor harassment and exploring effective measures to tackle it. He recognized the significance and presence of street vendor harassment and acknowledged it as a pressing concern. The event also witnessed a Special Address by Arbind Singh, National Coordinator, NASVI, Dr. Amit Chandra, CEO, Centre for Civil Society and Mr. Madhukar Pandey (Under Secretary, MOHUA)

The centerpiece of the event was the riveting Panel Discussion: The Street Vendors Act@10, featuring distinguished panelists like CE Rangaswamy (Street Vendor Representative, Bangalore, NASVI), Indira Unninayar (Advocate and AOR - Supreme Court), Ravi Nigam (Advocate and Legal Consultant, NASVI), and Prashant Narang (Post Doctoral Researcher, West Virginia University). This panel brought together diverse stakeholder representatives to bring forward different perspectives to deliberate the multifaceted challenges and possibilities for change through the implementation of Street Vendors Act, 2014..

The event also featured an exclusive premiere of the short-film titled "Error 404: Justice Denied" directed by Shashikant Rai from Centre for Civil Society, capturing powerful narratives that underscored the struggles and triumphs of street vendors. This documentary offered a portrayal of the lives of street vendors, shining a light on their resilience, creativity, and the challenges they confront daily, particularly focusing on instances of harassment.

CCS’ Jeevika App and NASVI’s Street Saarthi App were also shared with the participants, showcasing the mobile phone based applications to empower the street vendors by providing legal knowledge and aid, and by streamlining their daily operations respectively. Sanskriti Shree, Project Manager at the Centre for Civil Society, presented the Jeevika App's Impact and Way Ahead, emphasizing the positive influence of technology on the lives of street vendors and how it adds on to their knowledge about the Street Vendors Act. Krishna Kant and Rajeev Singh from NASVI showcased the Streeth Saarthi App, a tech-tool aimed at empowering street vendors.

In a joint-statement, CCS and NASVI expressed their belief that the event would raise awareness about the crucial role of street vendors in our communities and contribute to a more profound understanding of the challenges they confront daily along with the role of the Act in safeguarding.

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