Bhopal: Protest by 'Rehri, Patri Samiti', now street vendors want frontline workers status

They also want that a relief package should be announced for them and official identity cards issued to them

Staff ReporterUpdated: Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 11:52 PM IST
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BHOPAL: Members of the ëRehri, Patri Samitií of Bhopal†protested by standing in front of their houses in different places of the city to articulate their demands on WednesdayóPath Vendor Day. They raised their demands through posters. They demanded that, under the Vendors Act, 2014, a†Town Vending Commission (TVC) should be constituted in Bhopal, street vendors should be recognised as frontline workers, a relief package should be announced for them and official identity cards should be issued to them. The samiti and the vendors said that the lockdown had hit their livelihood.

A street vendor, Vikas, said, "We welcome the decisions taken by the government due to the corona pandemic, but the economic situation has worsened since the imposition of the corona curfew. Street vendors are in an economic crisis with no way to get out of it."

Another street vendor, Rakesh, said that a Town Vending Committee (TVC) should be set up in Bhopal under the Path Vendor Act, 2014, so that a survey of street vendors could be done and their vending cards made. Street vendors should be recognised as frontline workers as they make essential items available to the people during the pandemic. The†vendors should be treated with respect, he said.

He further said, "At the same time, we demand that our government shouldnít consider them as encroachers. The police are misbehaving with vendors during the lockdownóeven seizing their scales and weights and beating them up. The policemen donít talk. This shouldnít happen. The government should also provide a helpline number for us."

Besides, it was said that those who took loans under the PM SVANidhi Yojana should be exempted from repayment so that the debt burden on them does not increase. A memorandum with these demands was submitted to Bhopal Municipal Corporation. Earlier, too, the committee had reached out to the government and the municipal corporation seeking fulfilment of their demands. They will not rest until their demands are met, they have said.

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