Beedi Vyaapaara: Pakka Legal!
Director: Servelots Infotech Pvt. Ltd; Cinematographer: Visuals - Vinayak Varma; Editing - Mani Kantan V. A.
Duration: 00:14:50; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 109.238; Saturation: 0.035; Lightness: 0.460; Volume: 0.277; Cuts per Minute: 0.673; Words per Minute: 121.287
Be it Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Bengaluru, streets in any
Indian city will not be the same without our vendors. It is because of
the low-cost access to goods and services provided by street vendors
that cities become more affordable for working and middle classes.
They are the eyes and ears of any street, making our urban spaces
more inviting, safe, and distinct. Worldwide, street vending is a
critical part of any urban economy and cultural landscape. In India,
not only does street vending provide jobs to crores of people,
especially migrants to cities, but also indirectly generates jobs in
both formal and informal sectors.
However, our streets are contested spaces. There are differing views
competing with each other on what should be the nature of our
cities' streets, who can and should occupy them, and how they will
be shaped in the future. In this context, street vendors in Indian
cities are a much persecuted lot, and face challenges from different
quarters. Recognizing this harassment faced by street vendors, the
Supreme Court of India pushed for a landmark central legislation to
protect the rights of street vendors. And this resulted in the Central
Government introducing the ‘Street Vendors Bill’ in Lok Sabha in
2012, which was passed in 2014. Thus, the ‘Street Vendors
(Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) 2014
Act’ came into force from 1 May 2014.
Like many other laws in our country, this law is not accessible to
the very people whose rights it seeks to protect — the street
vendors. Understanding the law is the first step toward being
vigilant and participating in its implementation. This graphic
booklet is an attempt to take that first step, an attempt to explain a
few important aspects of the law in an accessible manner, using the
visual medium. This comic is thus intended to act as a resource for
all street vendors and street vendor support groups.
Script: Sruthi Krishnan, Vinay K Sreenivasa and Lekha Adavi
Artwork: Vinayak Varma (www.mixtape.in
Voice: Salus Sage
Sound Recording: Keerthi K. Shastri
Editing: Mani Kantan V. A.
alternative law forum
STREET VENDING :PAKKA LEGAL!
Kumar and kamala were farmers.
When there were no rains , they were forced to move to the city ,
leaving behind their daughter Shanthi.
With the help of some relatives , they became street vendors .
In the city , they met Shantha Mary and Muniraju .
Two other vendors who sold on the same street .
�I grew up in Bangalore and live in a slum nearby�, Muniraju told them .
�I live in the same slum said Shantha Mary. �My husband doesn�t have a job. I have two sons.�
Everyday Kumar and Kamala would go to market at 3 AM .
Be it rain , heat , or cold weather , they stood in their spot and vended.
A few months passed and slowly they started to get regular customers.
The businessman shakeel was one such regular.
Another was Anitha�s grandmother . The school bus dropped little Anitha near their cart everyday ,
and she would wait with Kamala until her grandmother picked her up.
And then there was a policeman named shiva.
Whose sister lived nearby. But even with all these new friends ,
Kumar and Kamala still missed their home, and they often thought about their farm.
In six months � time , Kumar had found a second job as a �Gardener�.
And kamala also found another job, supplying tea.
Soon , it was almost a year since they first made the city as their home .
They managed to save enough to move to a rented house , their daughter Shanthi also joined them.
Little did they know what was to come.
�our boss is going to build a mall here .� �But where will we go?� asked the vendors.
The thugs became aggressive. "what you are doing is illegal! you can't be on the road.
one week. remember. if you don't leave -- you don't want to wait and find out what will happen."
The next day, the policeman shiva came to their cart to buy vegetables for his sister.
"en aithu?" shiva asked. "why are you both looking so sad?'
"they are evicting us. sir. "Said kumar."But with the new law,
no one can evict you!" said shiva.
In fact he continued, "the police department has issued a circular -
no street vendor can be evicted or relocated until the bbmp conducts a survey of all street vendors and issues id cards
Any move to evict is against the new law."
"what law. sir?" asked kamala."don't you know? the street vendor act of 2014
but I don't have time to explain--my sister will be waiting for me. i'll tell you later!"
"we need to find out more about this law," said kamala. "find out what?"
asked muniraju. "the police saar said we can�t be evicted , Anna," said kamala.
"there is some new law. it seems."
�what happened?" asked little anita's grandmother, who had just arrived.
"Ajji, some men came. they are trying to evict us."
"but you people cannot go! what will I do without you? what about anita? whom will she wait with till i come?
my daughter can stay back late when she visits me, because she knows you'll be near the bus stop and she can wait there in safety.
you are like our eyes and ears on the street!"
later that night, shanthi overheard them talk about what had happened that day.
"what is this law, appa?" "nothing,nothing," said kumar. "let's just eat."
the next morning, at school. shanthi went looking for her friend jennifer.
"jennifer, you told me about a poster no? can you show it to me after School?"
shanthi returned home late that day "where were you?" asked kamala. "i was so worried!" "amma, listen, said shanthi.
"jennifer showed me a poster near her house. It says there is a meeting of street vendors tomorrow, about that new law. it is happening at the union office on DN road."
kumar and kamala went to the union office The next day they were met by a man and a woman.
"namaskara!" said the woman. "i am neela, and this is Imran. we are a union of street vendors. we work for street vendors,and our members are all vendors like you."
�Madam, "said kumar, "Recently, we were asked to leave by some men. They said a mall is going to be built near where we vend ".
The next day, the gang of thugs returned. but this time, the vendors were
neela, imran and other union members were with them. "you cannot evict anyone from here." said Imran. "who are you?" asked one of the thugs.
"we are from the union of street vendors!" said neela. "street vending is our right. we have a new street vendors law that sa-vs no one can evict us."the thugs got angry, and attacked the vendors.
shiva, the policeman, arrived just in time to stop the thugs. "stop this!" he shouted. "you are under arrest!
first, you cannot evict street vendors - the law clearly says that. And second, how dare you hit anyone?"
"thank you sir , for coming as soon as i called you," said kumar. "no thanks needed," said shiva. "it is our duty to protect street vendors."
The next week , the vendors attended the union meeting.
Neela explained:�In 2014, the government of india passed a law on street vending.
Under the law, street vending is lawful activity - pakka legal! that means, no one can stop you from vending.
but many questions remained. "how did this law come about?� asked the vendors.
"what do you mean no one can stop you? will the law stop evictions? what do you mean new law?"
neela and imran began answering their questions one by one.
"how did this law come about?"
"there was no law specifically for street vendors." said Neela. "several unions protested for a long time. First a national-level policy was launched in 2009.
Then in 2013, an important case was bought in the supreme court by maharashtra ekta hawkers union.
It was a union of people like you and me and in 2014,
the street vendors (protectionof livelihood and regulating street vending) act of 2014 became a new law.
the law says street vending is your right�.
"just as someone stealing your money is against the law, preventing you from vending is against the law.
with this new law, the police, government. and courts will protect your right to vend."
"the new law says you have a right To vend anywhere in the country�. said imran,
"Many people come from the north of india to work in companies like wipro and infosys in bangalore. Because as indians we can work anywhere in the country ,
it is our right. the same way, people from any state can come and vend here.It is our Right. The law tells you Street vending Is pakka legal!�.
The vendors had another question: "how will the government know we are street vendors?"
"the bbmp has to first conduct a survey of all street vendors in the city� said imran. "under the law, no one can be evicted till the survey is done."
"to conduct the survey .Bbmp will Create a town vending committee, with at Least forty percent members as street vendors,
and rest from the municipality, police, NGOS, RWAS etc to implement the law. therefore, according to the law, at least 40 percent members should be street Vendors�.
"but why does no one say anything about cars parked on the roads that cause jams? don't these block roads?�, asked muniraju.
"why does everyone blame street vendors? we are just earning an honest livelihood! and what about big cars with just one person?
isn't that blocking roads? why are we called 'encroachers' and not these polluting vehicles
"Sometimes , the traffic police tries to evict vendors saying pedestrians don't have space to walk. and that vendors cause traffic jams.
but both street vendors and pedestrians have a right to the footpath, and are dependent on each other."
"and what if shopkeepers or residents threaten to move us out of the footpath?"
"shops and houses have a right to ensure that access to their house or gate is not blocked,"
said neela. "if we don't block that, we are not doing any wrong. Discuss any problem amicably if they insist you vacate for no reason,
tell them politely that only bbmp can regulate vending. And talk to the union , sometimes the police files a petty case against vendors - under section 92 (g) of karnataka
police act or section 283 of ipc. if this happens, just don't pay the fine - if you pay, it is as though you are guilty.
Street vending is not a crime - it is pakka legal! tell the police that you would like to challenge the case in court and talk to the union.
In fact, the office of the police commissioner has issued a circular ordering its officers to learn about the act.
"asking for hafta is illegal. even the supreme court lamented this injustice.
this is what the court said:[street vendors] are a harassed lot and are constantly victimized by the officials of the local authorities.
the police. etc., who regularly target them for extra income and treat them with extreme contempt.
Perhaps these minions in the administration have not understood the meaning of the term 'dignity' enshrined in the preamble of the constitution."'
"the presence of street vendors generates a crowd, which prevents petty crimes from happening in public spaces.
Be it sexual harassment or robbery. street vendors help make city spaces safer for women,the elderly and the disabled�.
"for people like auto drivers and sales people.who need to travel around as part of their jobs,
vendors provide cheap, affordable food. where would these workers eat. if there were no street vendors?"
"street vendors are eco-friendly. they use pushcarts, bicycles, and baskets. and they don't contribute to air pollution nor do they use electricity and
the street vendors federation is switching consciously to biodegradable material like banana leaves and recycled paper;
"the b.b.m.p. too cannot evict street vendors. The law is clear that the b.b.m.p. has to first conduct a survey of all vendors.
while clearing footpaths. the bbmp. cannot violate the street vendor act.
"the karnataka police manual instructs the police to behave courteously with all people. they advise the police to speak in bahuvachana (plural) and not singular."
�For a second, let us think about what it means when someone tries to evict us. they are saving we are wrong to vend on the streets."
we earn through honest Means and we don't depend on anyone we are entrepreneurs! street vending is our right!�.
"when families like ours migrate from the village, we can only do street vending or construction work.
vending does not have a literacy barrier, age barrier, or language barrier.
some of us are diploma holders. when there are no government jobs or formal sector jobs for us, street vending provides us our livelihood."
"can you imagine bengaluru without kr market. gandhi bazar, majestic, or 8th cross malleswaram?
�It will be a diseased city,choking on its fumes. without a Heart,without a soul."
"the indian law says it is our right to vend on streets. no one can take that right from us!"