SHILLONG; Dec 18: For daily wage workers a day without work is detrimental towards livelihood sustenance and for the hawkers in Meghalaya staging the sit in demonstration for days now, it’s only getting worse with the state government remaining deaf over their demands.
As the sit-in demonstration of the Meghalaya and Greater Shillong Progressive Hawkers and Street Vendors Association,( MGSPH& SVA) with TUR enters the fifth day on Monday, their grievances remain unaddressed and free of any positive assurances from the state government despite days of no income generation and protest.
It may be recalled that the MGSPH& SVA along with TUR has been staging a peaceful non cooperation sit in demonstration in front of the Municipal Board office for the past 4 days since as a mark of protest against the form distribution by the TVC to hawkers.
Tomorrow will mark the fifth day of the sit in. According to TUR this has probably been the longest sit in demonstration that Shillong has seen in the past few years, where even though they were not ferried to the location in buses, daily, hundreds of Hawkers walked to the venue and sat outside the municipal office for more than 6 hours demanding for implementation of the central act on hawkers that mandates an ‘insitu’ survey of hawkers and vending places by a TVC that is transparently constituted and that has representatives from the hawkers themselves.
The hawkers reiterated that the form giving was a useless exercise as it was done by a TVC that was improperly constituted and does not have hawker representatives from across the city and also sees it as a dangerous exercise that far from ensuring them their rights is opening up avenues for more corruption and nepotism.
Their demands include, implementation of the central Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, reconstituting of the Town Vending Committee having not less than 40% representation from among hawkers and hawker associations where at least half the members are women in keeping with the law, to immediately stop all illegal evictions and conduct a survey of the hawkers and markets so as to identify vending zones,to ensure that natural and heritage markets are not declared no vending zones, to stop all illegal evictions and injustices perpetrated in the name of evictions including withdrawal of all false FIRs filed against hawkers besides other.