Struggle of Footpath Vendors in Delhi

IT appears that street vendors in Delhi do not have the right to life or livelihood or even to a small income with which to feed and educate their children. On the left side of the road between Mayur Vihar and Pragati Vihar on the border of Uttar Pradesh about 125 poor landless people from Bhojpur, Jahanabad and Rohtas Districts in Bihar had been earning their livelihood and nurturing their families for the past 30-35 years by selling fruit. They have now been evicted and driven away from the road. A CPIML team led by RYA leader Manoj Manzil met and spoke with the evicted vendors on 28 September 2019. The evicted poor commemorated Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary and said that even after 72 years of independence the government has not bothered about livelihood, housing, education or medical treatment of the poor. We had come to Delhi from our villages in the hope of earning a livelihood and sustaining our families and we had managed somehow for the past 30-35 years by selling fruit and flowers and the Delhi police also used to get ‘something’ from us. But suddenly 40 days ago the police came and said that neighboring housing societies are complaining that you people spread filth and dirt and make noise, so we have orders from our bosses to drive you out and evict you. The vendors informed the team that they begged and pleaded that their families would starve and their children would suffer, but their pleas went unheard and they were driven away. A protest was held against this eviction on 21 August in front of Delhi Gov. Later CPIML leaders including Delhi State Secretary Ravi Rai, Shaym Kishore Yadav and AIPWA leader Mala met with the DCP, SHO and Municipal authorities, but so far the evictees have not got any relief. Shyam Kishore Yadav said that the Party is with the poor in their fight and we will fight to the end to ensure that the vendors are allowed to put up their shops on the footpath.

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