Category Archive : ACORN India

ACORN India Filming Hawkers Video

ACORN India recruitment video for the ACORN hawkers and street vendors union in Bengaluru being filmed right now.

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ACORN in Delhi Offers Alternatives to the “Sleep Mafia”

Check out the Chief Organizer Blog that features the work of ACORN in India for the homeless.

In addition to running our own shelters again, ACORN India also runs a rescue vehicle in Delhi.

It moves in the streets from 10 pm to 4 am and rescues homeless sleeping in open by bringing them to the nearest shelter.

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Homeless problem was featured in the New York Times on January 18th, 2016.

Street Vendors Board Demanded

Dharmendra Kumar led a delegation of street vendors leaders to the Hon’ble Minister of Labour & Employment, Govt. of NCT of Delhi demanding creation of a Street Vendors Board, Provision of social security to all existing street vendors and registration of street vendors associations as trade unions.

Meeting Hon'ble Labour Minister, Delhi

Dharmendra Kumar article in Hindi Daily on the Junk Food Industry

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Street Vendors meet the Chief Minister of Delhi

30 May, 2015: A delegation of street vendors leaders led by Dharmendra Kumar met Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister (C.M.) of NCT. of Delhi.

A range of issues were discussed during the meeting. Hon’ble CM was requested to revisit the Street Vendors (protection of Livelihood and Regulation of vending) rules, 2014 to make sure that the Town Vending Committee has representatives of street vendors democratically elected by all existing informal street vendors and not just by the already licensed ones.

The delegation welcomed the Delhi govt. notification issued on 19th Feb 2015 directing authorities not to disturb existing street vendors/hawkers. It was also requested to create framework to allow new vendors.

The delegation thanked Mr. Kejriwal for his govt. stand to not allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multibrand retail under territorial jurisdiction of Delhi. Last but not the least, the delegation presented a report to the Hon’ble CM based on a survey conducted among street vendors from across Delhi. The study finds that street vendors continue to be harassed by various authorities especially the municipality and police. According to the findings of the study, street vendors of Delhi are annually paying around Indian National Rupees (INR) 844 crores (almost 140 million US$) to personnel of municipality and police.

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Article on Farmers’ Issues in Hindi Daily

ACORN India article about farmers’ issues is featured in the Hindi Daily.

Report from ACORN Agentina

Report on the work of ACORN Argentina.

Peoples Manifesto Released

The Forum of Informal Urban Poor Workers (FIUPW) and PRIA released peoples manifesto titled ‘Addressing Urban Poverty and Reformed Urban Governance’ in a jointly organized event held on 28th March, 2014 at The Speaker Hall, Constitution Club of India, New Delhi.

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Manifesto Release 28th March

Addressing Urban Poverty and Reformed Governance – National Campaign

“Addressing Urban Poverty and Reformed Governance – National Campaign” was organized on 12th February, 2014  at The Auditorium, Gandhi Peace Foundation, Delhi. PRIA and Forum of Informal Urban Poor Workers (FIUPW) jointly organized the event. FIUPW’s manifesto on Urban Poor was shared with different media houses and later  handed over to different political parties contesting for the general election 2014 in India.

Manifesto Meeting GPF 12 Feb

ACORN’s Street Vendors’ Union Breaks Through in Bengaluru!

After a long campaign to win formal certification by under the labor laws of Karnataka, ACORN’s street vendors union was finally registered under the new law of 2014 this February as Vijaya Nagar Street Vendors Union in Bengaluru thanks to the hard work of longtime ACORN International organizer, Suresh Kadashan, over the last six-and-a-half years.   Now in March we already have local branches in 25 markets and 6000 members, largely in the North and South areas of Bengaluru, and the organizing committee of the key ten leaders working with Suresh have targeted Eastern Bengaluru as the next objective.

With 150000 street vendors in this city of almost 5 million in southern India, we have only just begun to grow, but members are celebrating our newfound strength already. New markets are seeking to join (see pictures of the organizing meetings of the 26th market with 150 more members having its organizing committee meeting!).   Another union is also in the process of being chartered under both the Food Safety Department and the Street Vendors area which will be a local of food vendors, who serve at the markets during the three main mealtimes. We have already filed here and registered for another more than 1000 members.

Not surprisingly as a union of informal workers whose only employers are our customers and whose work spaces are the streets of the city, the issues and campaigns are the kinds of grassroots efforts that are ACORN’s hallmark. The new market is organizing in order to move from where a flyover (highway interchange) is being built to space under the Metro (subway) elevated tracks, and that means actions on the city. The main City Market where there are 5000 vendors working had the union with them past midnight on Sunday to make sure that demolition of buildings around another Metro stop didn’t destroy a shed used by the vendors. An early Sunday meeting at another market pressured the police to end the goondas (goons) shakedown of 100 rupees or more every week from every vendor on the street. Recently the union filed Bengaluru’s first lawsuit in courts against the police for not guaranteeing vending space as required by the national constitution and harassing the vendors.   It’s never a dull minute with the vendors, but their organizing is paying off!

ACORN International has made a priority of organizing informal workers many places around the world and the Bengaluru breakthroughs open the door for unions of wastepickers, domestic workers, and many others.

Stay tuned for more progress from India!

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