Category Archive : News

Workers Manifesto at Forum of Informal Urban Poor Workers

Forum of Informal Urban poor Workers (FIUPW) and PRIA jointly organized a workers assembly on 10th Oct at Constitution Club, Delhi. A workers manifesto was presented to all political parties keeping in view the forthcoming elections in Delhi.

Mr. Prashant Bhushan, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India and leader of Aam Admi Party, Mr. Dhirendra Sharma, State Secretary, CPI, Mr. Anand Sahu, leader, BJP and Mr. Anurag Saxena, Secretariat Member, CPM attended the assembly and responded to the workers manifesto. Dharmendra Kumar chaired the session.

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Photos of Global Exhibition on Inclusive Cities

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People Building Better Cities: Participation and Inclusive Urbanization

spa 4 oct 001

People Building Better Cities: Participation and Inclusive Urbanization – is an exhibition and exchange platform for communities, urban professionals, universities, non-governmental organizations, and policy makers on the challenges of inclusive urbanization and climate change.

In Delhi, the exhibition will be shown in English and Hindi from October 4 – 18, 2013. The English exhibition will open at School of Planning & Architecture (SPA), with a panel discussion themed “Rethinking Urban Informality: Ideas for an Inclusive City”. The Hindi exhibition will be mobile and is being hosted in six different locations across Delhi by members of the Forum of Informal Urban Poor Workers (FIUPW) with community-led local programs at each venue.

October 4, Friday: EXHIBITION OPENING in English
School of Planning & Architecture

SPA, New Committee Room, 4-Block-B, Indraprastha Estate, New Delhi

9:30-10:00 Doors open
10:00-10:30 Exhibition opening & interactive walkthrough
10:30-11:00 Tea Break
11:00-13:00 Panel Discussion with Q&A
‘People Building Better Cities: Rethinking Urban Informality – Ideas for an Inclusive City’
13:00 onwards Lunch and exhibition display

Prof. Chetan Vaidya, Director, SPA

Prof. Neelima Risbud, Head, Housing, SPA
Prof. Jagan Shah, Director, NIUA (TBC)
Mr. Manoj Rai, Director, PRIA
Mr. Dharmendra Kumar, Secretary, Janpahal (TBC)
Ms. Isabelle-Jasmin Roth, Managing Director, Avantgarde India (TBC)
The Hindi exhibition will remain open from 11:00 to 17:00 at the dates and locations provided below

October 7, Monday and 8, Tuesday
Janpahal Shelter for Homeless with Janpahal and India FDI Watch

Directions: Nehru Enclave-Akshardham Flyover, Shakarpur. Nearest metros – Akshardham, Laxmi Nagar and Yamuna Bank
Inquiries: Mr. Dharmendra Kumar, Secretary, Janpahal & Director, India FDI Watch

October 9, Wednesday and 10, Thursday
Baljeet Nagar with HAQ
Inquiries: Mr. Abdul Shakeel, Coordinator, HAQ

October 11, Friday and 12, Saturday
Seemapuri with All India Kabadi Mazdoor Mahasangh

October 14, Monday and 15, Tuesday
Rohini with All India Rickshaw Pullers Association

Oct 17, Thursday, and 18, Friday
B-5 Vasant Kunj with Jhuggi Jhopri Ekta Manch


A series of themed chat sessions at each venue, with local stakeholders and community members will be held between 11:00 – 13:00, on the following dates. Refreshments will be arranged by the hosting community.

October 8, Tuesday
‘Urban informality and the homeless’

Mr. Dharmendra Kumar, Secretary, Janpahal

Key Speakers
Dr. Amod Kumar, Chief Functionary, State appointed Mother NGO for Homeless
Ms. Ambika Pandit, Journalist, TNN (TBC)
Mr. H.S. Rawat, Co-Convener, Hawkers Joint Action Committee


Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA)
National Institute for Urban Affairs
School of Planning & Architecture, Delhi
India FDI Watch
All India Kabadi Mazdoor Mahasangh
All India Rickshaw Pullers Association
Jhuggi Jhopri Ekta Manch

Hawkers Give Thanks

Hawkers thanking Ms. Girija Vyas, the Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Govt. of India for enacting central law to regulate and protect street vendors.


Hawkers at the Minister’s Door
Hawkers thanking the Minister for Street Vendors

Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 passed by Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha today passed the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 . The Bill provides for protection of livelihoods rights, social security of street vendors, regulation of urban street vending in the country and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Moving the Bill for consideration and Passing in the house today, Dr. Girija Vyas, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, said “Street vendors constitute an integral part of our urban economy. Street vending is not only a source of self-employment to the poor in cities and towns but also a means to provide ‘affordable’ as well as ‘convenient’ services to a majority of the urban population, especially the common man. Street vendors are often those who are unable to get regular jobs in the remunerative formal sector on account of their low level of education and skills. They try to solve their livelihoods issues through their own meagre financial resources and sweat equity.

Given the pace of urbanization and the opportunities presented through the development of urban areas, the growth of street vendors’ population is likely to have an upward trend. She said ” It is vital that these vendors are enabled to pursue their livelihoods in a congenial and harassment free atmosphere. Inclusive growth strategy adopted by the 11th and 12th Five Year Plans calls for a facilitating mechanism for street vending to aid economic growth and inclusion simultaneously.”

Main features of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 are as follows:

The Provisions of the Bill are aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere where street vendors, are able to carry out their business in a fair and transparent manner, without the fear of harassment and eviction.

(i) The Bill provides for constitution of a Town Vending Authority in each Local Authority, which is the fulcrum of the Bill, for implementing the provisions of the Bill.

(ii) In order to ensure participatory decision making for aspects relating to street vending activities like determination of natural market, identification of vending zones, preparation of street vending plan, survey of street vendors etc. the TVC is required to have representation of officials and non-officials and street vendors, including women vendors with due representation from SC, ST, OBC, Minorities and persons with disabilities. It has been provided that 40% members of the TVC will be from amongst street vendors to be selected through election, of which one-third shall be women.

(iii) To avoid arbitrariness of authorities, the Bill provides for a survey of all existing street vendors, and subsequent survey at-least once in every five years, and issue of certificate of vending to all the street vendors identified in the survey, with preference to SC, ST, OBC, women, persons with disabilities, minorities etc.

(iv) All existing street vendors, identified in the survey, will be accommodated in the vending zones subject to a norm conforming to 2.5% of the population of the ward or zone or town or city.

(v) Where the number of street vendors identified are more than the holding capacity of the vending zone, the Town Vending Committee (TVC) is required to carry out a draw of lots for issuing the certificate of vending for that vending zone and the remaining persons will be accommodated in any adjoining vending zone to avoid relocation.

(vi) Those street vendors who have been issued a certificate of vending/license etc. before the commencement of this Act, they will be deemed to be a street vendor for that category and for the period for which he/she has been issued such certificate of vending/license.

(vii) It has been provided that no street vendor will be evicted until the survey has been completed and certificate of vending issued to the street vendors.

(viii) It has also been provided that in case a street vendor, to whom a certificate of vending is issued, dies or suffers from any permanent disability or is ill, one of his family member i.e. spouse or dependent child can vend in his place, till the validity of the certificate of vending.

(ix) Thus the mechanism is to provide universal coverage, by protecting the street vendors from harassment and promoting their livelihoods.

(x) Procedure for relocation, eviction and confiscation of goods has been specified and made street vendor friendly. It is proposed to provide for recommendation of the TVC, as a necessary condition for relocation being carried out by the local authority.

(xi) Relocation of street vendors should be exercised as a last resort. Accordingly, a set of principles to be followed for ‘relocation’ is proposed to be provided for in the second Schedule of the Bill, which states that (i) relocation should be avoided as far as possible, unless there is clear and urgent need for the land in question; (ii) affected vendors or their representatives shall be involved in planning and implementation of the rehabilitation project; (iii) affected vendors shall be relocated so as to improve their livelihoods and standards of living or at least to restore them, in real terms to pre-evicted levels (iv) natural markets where street vendors have conducted business for over fifty years shall be declared as heritage markets, and the street vendors in such markets shall not be relocated.

(xii) The Local authority is required to make out a plan once in every 5 years, on the recommendation of TVC, to promote a supportive environment and adequate space for urban street vendors to carry out their vocation. It specifically provides that declaration of no-vending zone shall be carried subject to the specified principles namely; any existing natural market, or an existing market as identified under the survey shall not be declared as a no-vending zone; declaration of no-vending zone shall be done in a manner which displaces the minimum percentage of street vendors; no zone will be declared as a no-vending zone till such time as the survey has not been carried out and the plan for street vending has not been formulated. Thus the Bill provides for enough safeguards to protect street vendors interests.

(xiii) The thrust of the Bill is on “natural market”, which has been defined under the Bill. The entire planning exercise has to ensure that the provision of space or area for street vending is reasonable and consistent with existing natural markets.Thus, natural locations where there is a constant congregation of buyers and sellers will be protected under the Bill.

(xiv) There is a provision for establishment of an independent dispute redressal mechanism under the chairmanship of retired judicial officers to maintain impartiality towards grievance redressal of street vendors.

(xv) The Bill provides for time period for release of seized goods, for both perishable and non-perishable goods. In case of non-perishable goods, the local authority is required to release the goods within two working days and incase of perishable goods, the goods shall be released the same day, of the claim being made.

(xvi) The Bill also provides for promotional measures to be undertaken by the Government, towards availability of credit, insurance and other welfare schemes of social security, capacity building programmes, research, education and training programme etc. for street vendors.

(xvii) Section 29 of the Bill provides for protection of street vendors from harassment by police and other authorities and provides for an overriding clause to ensure they carry on their business without the fear of harassment by the authorities under any other law.

(xviii) The Bill specifically provides that the Rules under the Bill have to be notified within one year of its commencement, and Scheme has to be notified within six months of its commencement to prevent delay in implementation.

The Bill is aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere for street vendors to do their business in dignity and is likely to help in giving livelihood protection to about 1 crore families.

Background :

Considering the significant contribution made by street vendors to the urban society, and to enable them to earn a decent livelihood through creation of conditions for decent work, without causing obstruction to the public and to reflect the spirit of the Constitution of India on the right of citizens to equal protection before the law as well as their right to practice any profession, occupation, trade or business, the Government of India revised the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2004 and brought out the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2009.

The revised Policy was circulated to all States/UTs for implementation after, the approval of the Union Cabinet on 23th February, 2009. The revised Policy underscored the need for a legislative framework to enable street vendors to pursue an honest living without harassment. Accordingly, a Model Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2009 was prepared by the Government of India. The Model Bill was also approved by the Union Cabinet on 23th February 2009 and was circulated to all States for taking a cue while legislating on the subject.

The Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has been receiving continuous representations from individual street vendors and their organizations to bring a central legislation, which would be applicable to all the states and UTs. Therefore, for giving a national recognition to the contribution of street vendors and to ensure uniformity in the legal framework for street vending across States, a Central law on street vending is considered essential.

Regional level consultations were organized on the subject of implementation of National Policy on Street Vendors and legislative framework for street vending in Patna on 4th-5th March, 2011, Mumbai on 24th September, 2011, and Delhi on 18.11.2011 which were attended by representatives from State Governments, Urban Local Bodies, NGOs, Civil Society, International Organizations, Experts, Members of Street Vendors Associations etc.

A National Consultation was also held in New Delhi on 23rd December 2011 to seek the views / comments of various stakeholders, including representatives of Street Vendors’ organizations and street vendors themselves on the salient features of the proposed legislation in order to evolve an effective and practical central law for the protection of livelihood rights and social security of street vendors. The suggestions and recommendations received covered a wide variety of measures relating to providing a conducive framework for street vending.

Accordingly, a new legislation namely ‘Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012’ was drafted under entries 20 (economic and social planning), 23 (social security and social insurance; employment and unemployment), and 24 (welfare of labour including conditions of work, provident funds, employers liability, workmen’s compensation, invalidity and old age pensions and maternity benefits) of List III of the Constitution. The Bill provides for protection of livelihoods rights, social security of street vendors, regulation of urban street vending in the country and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The draft Bill, was circulated to States/UTs on 29.02.2012 for comments. It was also discussed and deliberated during a National Consultation of Housing/Urban Development Ministers of States and UTs on the 28th of April, 2012, which was attended by 22 States, and received wide acceptance and support.

The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012, as approved by the Cabinet in its meeting held on 17th August 2012, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 6th September 2012.

The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Urban Development on the 10th September 2012. The said Standing Committee presented its 23rd Report on the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 to the Lok Sabha and laid on the table of Rajya Sabha on 13th March 2013.

The Standing Committee has made in all 26 recommendations. The recommendations made by the Standing Committee were considered by my Ministry and it was proposed to accept 17 recommendations fully, 3 recommendations in part or with modifications, and 6 recommendations are not proposed to be accepted.


(Release ID :99161)

Bill to Protect Street Vendors Introduced in Lok Sabha

NEW DELHI: A Bill to protect the rights of urban street vendors- including against harassment by the police and other authorities- as well as to regulate street vending activities was today moved for discussion and passage in the Lok Sabha.

Moving for discussion and passage the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012, in the Lok Sabha, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Girija Vyas said it seeks to protect the rights of urban street vendors from harassment by the police, municipal authorities and others.

 The Bill, which has already been cleared by the Standing Committee, is also aimed at regulating street vending activities.

 “At present around 2 per cent of the population is involved in street vending activity and this figure is likely to reach 2.5 per cent in a few years,” she said, adding the proposed legislation will allow them to earn their livelihood without fear.

The Bill provides for security and protection of livelihood to all street vendors having a vending certificate to be issued by the Town Vending Committee.

Vyas said police and other authorities cannot remove a street vendor who has the certificate. She said those markets, which have been functional for more than 50 years, will be considered natural markets and vendors located there will be protected. The minister said states and the Centre will have to work together to make the Act a success.

Shailendra Kumar (SP) said street vendors mostly belong to OBC and the minority community and also involves unorganised labour. He said in Mumbai there are around five lakh street vendors yet only around 18,000 of them have been given licenses. He demanded the new law should ensure that vendors are allowed to set up shops in or near main markets.

Shailendra Kumar further said the Bill seeks to reduce the fine on street vendors from Rs 1,000 at present to Rs 250 but it would be good if it is reduced further. He lamented that banks do not provide loans to street vendors and they end up being exploited by money lenders.

He said government should see to it that there is no child labour in street vending business.

Supporting the Bill, Jayaprakash Hegde (Cong) said railway vendors, who have been excluded from the Bill, should be brought under it.

He expressed concern over the unhygienic food served by street vendors and said this needs to be looked into.

Anant Geete ( Shiv Sena) said he supports the Bill which seeks to provide security and protection to the street vendors.

The debate will continue in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.

The National Urban Livelihoods Mission to Support Street Vendors and Homeless

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) with an allocation of approximately Rs. 6,405 crore.

The Mission of NULM is to reduce poverty and vulnerability of the urban poor households by enabling them to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, resulting in an appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots level institutions of the poor. The mission would also aim at providing shelter equipped with essential services to the urban homeless in a phased manner. In addition, the Mission would also address livelihood concerns of the urban street vendors also by facilitating access to suitable spaces, institutional credit, social security and skills to the urban street vendors for accessing emerging market opportunities.

NULM will rest on the foundation of community mobilization and women empowerment. NULM envisages universal mobilisation of urban poor households into thrift and credit-based Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and their federations/collectives. These groups will serve as a” support system for the poor, to meet their financial and social need. Under the Mission, City Livelihood Centres (CLCs) will be established in Mission cities to provide a platform whereby the urban poor can market their services and access information on self-employment, skill training and other benefits.

The Support to Urban Street Vendors (USV) component will cover a socio-economic survey of street vendors, development of pro-vending urban planning and vendors’ markets, credit enablement of vendors, skill development and micro-enterprise development and convergence under various schemes of the Government.

NULM would aim at providing shelter for the urban homeless equipped with essential services. The shelters should be permanent all-weather 24 x 7 shelters for the urban homeless. For every one lakh urban population, provisions will be made for permanent community shelters for a minimum of one hundred persons. Depending upon local conditions each shelter could cater to between 50 and 100 persons.

The NULM will be implemented in two phases: Phase I (2013-2017) and Phase II (2017-2022). In Phase I, NULM will target all cities with a population of one lakh or more and district headquarter towns with a population of less than one lakh as per Census of India 2011. However, other towns may be allowed in exceptional cases on the request of the States. Funding will be shared between the Centre and the States in the ratio of 75:25.

Review of the policy on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Multi-Branded Retail Trading

Cabinet Decision

The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal for amendment in the existing FDI policy in Multi-Brand Retail Trading (MBRT) in para (iii), (iv) and (vi) of ‘Circular 1 of 2013 – Consolidated FDI Policy.

a) Amendment in para (iii) of ‘Circular 1 of 2013- Consolidated FDI Policy’ to read as follows:

“At least 50% of total FDI brought in the first tranche of US$ 100 million, shall be invested in ‘backend infrastructure’ within three years, where ‘back-end infrastructure’ will include capital expenditure on all activities, excluding that on front-end units. For instance, back-end infrastructure will include investment made towards processing, manufacturing, distribution, design improvement, quality control, packaging, logistics, storage, ware-house, agriculture market produce infrastructure etc. Expenditure on land cost and rentals, if any, will not be counted for purposes of backend infrastructure. Subsequent investment in the back-end infrastructure would be made by the MBRT retailer as needed, depending upon his business requirements”.

b) Amendment in para ‘Circular 1 of 2013 – Consolidated FDI Policy’ to read as follows:

“At least 30% of the value of procurement of manufactured/ processed products purchased shall be sourced from Indian micro, small and medium industries which have a total investment in plant & machinery not exceeding US $ 2.00 million. This valuation refers to the value at the time of installation, without providing for depreciation. The ‘small industry’ status would be reckoned only at the time of first engagement with the retailer and such industry shall continue to qualify as a ‘small industry’ for this purpose even if it outgrows the said investment of US$ 2.00 million, during the course of its relationship with the said retailer. Sourcing from agricultural co-operatives and farmers co¬operatives would also be considered in this category. The procurement requirement would have to be met, in the first instance, as an average of five years’ total value of the manufactured/ processed products purchased, beginning 1st April of the year during which the first tranche of FDI is received. Thereafter, it would have to be met on an annual basis”. 

c) Amendment in para of ‘Circular 1 of 2013 – Consolidated FDI Policy’ to read as follows:

“Retail sales outlets may be set up only in cities with a population of more than 10 lakh as per the 2011 Census or any other cities as per the decision of the respective State Governments, and may also cover an area of 10 kms around the municipal/urban agglomeration limits of such cities; retail locations will be restricted to conforming areas as per the Master/Zonal Plans of the concerned cities and provision will be made for requisite facilities such as transport connectivity and parking”.

The amendment in the extant FDI policy relating to Multi-Brand Retail Trading in respect of ‘small industry’ will bring in a balance between the business exigencies of the MBRT entity and intent of the policy which is to extend the benefits of the FDI policy in multi-brand retail trading to a larger constituency of small industries. The amendment in the provision regarding ‘back-end infrastructure’ will give more clarity to the policy. The amendment to the provision regarding location of retail outlets will bring in parity in the policy as it is proposed to extend such dispensation to all States.

Dharmendra Kumar’s Article on Indian Poverty

Article published July 18th, 2013 in Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar on the National Sample Survey Organization recent survey reporting 15% decline in Indian Poverty between 2004-2005 to 2011-2012.

Full article here.

ACORN Foundation India and Kitab Khana, Mumbai, invite you to the launch of ‘Dharavi: The City Within’

Acorn Foundation India and Kitab Khana, Mumbai, invite you to the launch of ‘Dharavi: The City Within’

DATE: June 14, 2003 TIME: 6 p.m to 7.30 p.m

VENUE: Kitab Khana bookstore, Somaiya Bhavan, M.G Road, Fort, Mumbai

‘Dharavi: The City Within’ is edited by Joseph Campana and published by Harper Collins


1. Introduction by Vinod Shetty, director, Acorn Foundation: He will speak about Dharavi and the origins and purpose of the book.

2. A panel comprising: (i) Laxmi Kamble: activist from Acorn and the waste sector

(ii) Shirish Patel: Architect and urban planner

(iii) Thayapa Santi: Educationist and activist working in Dharavi

(iv) Kalpana Sharma: senior journalist and columnist

The speakers will highlight some of the main issues related to Dharavi, including redevelopment.

3. This will be followed by a discussion with questions / comments from the audience.

4. We will close with a short music performance by 4 members of Dharavi Rocks, a band of young people who work and study in Dharavi.


Dharavi houses half-a-million people and has some of the most expensive real estate in Mumbai. Behind its success are the efforts of thousands of extraordinary people. In ‘Dharavi: The City Within’ the dreams, aspirations and anxieties of this thriving community come alive in the hands of some of India’s best writers and journalists. Meet Prema Salgaonkar, who knocks on 500 doors a day taking deposits for the Mahila Milan Bank to make sure her neighbours have money set aside for when trouble hits. Meet Vadivel Thambi, who delivers milk and texts his poetry to hundreds of adoring fans. Meet Sayeed Khan Bucklewala, a brass foundry owner who makes millions selling belt buckles. Find out how the people who live here pay their bills, cope with shiftless and abusive spouses, educate their children, and protect their homes and livelihoods from those who would turn them out. Alongside is a larger overview of what it means to live in such a city system. Dharavi, in the course of its evolution, has raised a number of issues pertaining to decent living standards, development and maintaining amity. These hold important lessons for India as a whole as it urbanises at a rapid pace.


Joseph Campana lived in Mumbai from 2007 to 2011. He taught feature writing and literary journalism at the Xavier Institute of Communications and literature at the merican School of Bombay. His writing has appeared in the Indian Express and Time Out Mumbai. He currently lives in Missoula, Montana.

ABOUT ACORN: The Acorn Foundation India Trust organises waste-workers and trains them in scientific methods of waste handling, segregation and recycling. The Dharavi Project is a multi-media project of the Acorn Foundation that utilises artists and social-impact programmes to change the living conditions of over 100,000 ‘rag-pickers’ who segregate waste in Mumbai. Its mission is to increase the welfare of waste-workers and give their profession a legitimate and sustainable voice in the recycling and waste-management value chain in the city.

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