More and more young people are turning to street vendors


20 to 25% of requests received by the Society following the pandemic outbreak come from young people

According to data from the Thiruvananthapuram City Corporation, relatively young people are applying in large numbers to start street vendors in the period following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Officials at the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM), which processes applications for new street vendors, have noticed a higher number of applicants in the 25-45 age group, compared to years before the pandemic.

“After the pandemic, we received around 600 new requests for street vendors. Some of them are former sellers who do not have a license and apply for it because it is now mandatory. But, about 20 to 25% of new applications come from young people. Until a few years ago, the majority of itinerant sales requests came from people over the age of 50, ”said a NULM official.

Most young people prefer to start fast food outlets, selling shawarma and rolls. Many find it easier to start street vendors from vehicles or wagons, given the difficulty and expense of securing sales space in areas where business is guaranteed.

Many of the young people are either those who searched unsuccessfully for paid jobs or those who lost their jobs during the pandemic. At the end of last year, The Hindu in a quick survey, several new vendors were found on the streets of the capital, selling everything from fruit masks to ready meals as an alternative source of income. Some of them had said they were doing this as a stopgap.

The Thiruvananthapuram Corporation last conducted a comprehensive survey of street vendors in 2015, when the number of vendors was 3,498. At present, officials are preparing a new survey using a new one. mobile application prepared by the Center. According to them, as many as 200 of the sellers identified in 2015 have died, while some have left street vending and turned to other businesses. However, many others have recently adopted street vending to survive. An accurate count of street vendors in the city will not be known until after the new survey.

The process of issuing identity cards to street vendors is still ongoing, with the cards now being issued to 1,400 vendors. The reconstitution of the city’s traveling sales committee is also on the agenda. An ad hoc committee formed in 2015 manages affairs, including the approval of nominations. The formation of an elected committee has been delayed due to the pandemic.

All street vendors in the city have the right to vote on the committee, which will have nine vendor representatives. Officials from the municipality, the district administration and the police will also be part of it.

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