Impediments of Sustainability and Alternatives for Inclusive Development of Workers in the Urban Informal Sector (A Case Study of Street Vendors in Chandigarh, India): A Human Rights Perspective

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 09:35
Oral Presentation
Sushant SETIA, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India
Massive rural to urban influx in developing countries due to push factors has forced the mushrooming of slums which usually lack basic amenities and indulgence of masses in low paying, exploitative and unhealthy jobs. Informal sector employment comprises of self employment and wage employment which usually lack secured contracts, registration, worker benefits or social protection. The present study focuses on the human rights violation and the hindrances in inclusion of this very informal sector into the urban sphere. Two occupational groups have been selected for the present investigation a) Fruit and vegetable vendors, as they have the longest working hours and deal with perishable goods b) ‘Chai walas’ who are considered the cornerstone of historical and cultural heritage of India. Chandigarh being the first planned city of post-colonial India has been selected for the present study. Economic feasibility, living and working conditions of the target group, their awareness regarding rights and the social status of street vendors has been gauged using detailed interview schedule, personal observations and mobilizing secondary sources. The findings have been analyzed using the prism of available legal framework in India, safeguarding street vendors with special reference to the implementation of Street Vendors Act, 2014. Various facets of human rights infringement of the target group like violation of their right to livelihood, right to health, right to rest, leisure, social rights etc have been discussed and practical solutions for their inclusion have been put forward.