Adding another loop in the chain of struggle to get their business back, around 500 street vendors demonstrated at Jaipur Municipal Corporation headquarter on January 05, 2012. Gherao was after a day from the press conference projecting their agitation for violation of their Right to Livelihood. Authorities have umpteen excuses to escape implementing Pheriwalo Ka Sansar, State Policy for Street Vendors, 2007. But taking away vendors’ only means of subsistence, to make jaipur welcoming for “Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas” is a day process for them.
“Global Indian, inclusive Growth”, the much written slogan for Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas was surely not much claimed. Indians are going global indeed but inclusive growth is far away from the sight. And this has been exemplified currently in Jaipur, as to welcome global Indians inclusive growth is getting hindered. This unfair attitude of Municipal Corporation towards street vendors goaded them to demonstrate. Vendors were found saying, “If we take the right path for our sustenance, government put endless constraints in our way and when illegitimacy is the only option gets left out then jail is our destination. There is no way out for us in this absurd democratic form of government”. Had the policy been implemented of giving authorized land to vendors to run their business and registering them to give identity, eviction of vendors to beautify the city and consequently pain to them wouldn’t have happened. Higher authorities had passed the order to evict vendors mainly from 8 routs of the event. But seeing the new source of making money, police threatened vendors and seized their belongings from also. Furious by all this the demonstration continued for 5 HOURS from 11 AM to 4 PM with cries against authorities including CEO, Dr. Loknath Soni of JMC and Mayor, Jyoti khandelwal. Proactive street vendors and union leaders addressed the whole group pointing out their problems and claiming that they wouldn’t put an end to Gherao unless this eviction doesn’t stop, they aren’t given their belongings, policy of 2007 not implemented and an officer to look after their issues is not appointed. After a long wait of 5 hours a representative group got called inside to talk to Additional Chief Executive Officer, Mr. M. P. Meena, Vigilance Commissioner, Mr. Dinesh Sharma on the issue. A group of 6 people including Banwari Sharma, President of Heritage City Thadi Thela Union, Amit Chandra, Centre for Civil Society and Sanjay Garg, Centre for Policy Solution went inside to put the following demands of Street vendors :
- To stop harassment and eviction of street vendors on the name of encroachment immediately.
- Compensation to be given to the evicted street vendors for loss of their livelihood and returning of the belongings.
- Implementing the National Policy, 2007 at the earliest after forming a committee to work on it and appointing an officer.
The demonstration ended after following promises by JMC authorities:
- Street vendors wouldn’t be evicted in future any more.
- Belongings of the vendors from other areas than the 8 main rout of the event would be released immediately.
- Belonging of the vendors from main 8 routs of the event would be given back after 9 January 2012.
- Implementation work on street vendor policy would be started soon.