Vendors seek extension of health scheme, sites

Identity cards were distributed to them on the occasion

The street vendors of the city who had earlier fought against the civic tiger operation by the Mangalore City Corporation, have now united again to urge the government to fulfill their demands including the extension of health scheme for the street vendors, allotting housing sites and stop the Foreign Direct Investment policy in India.  

In the first annual conference of the street vendors organised in the city on Thursday, the Mangalore Street Vendors Association members and the office-bearers have passed three resolutions in the interest of the street vendors. One of the resolutions is to demand the government for the inclusion of street vendors to Rahstriya Swasthya Bhima Yojana health scheme and increase the scheme amount from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000. Another demand is to withdraw Foreign Direct Investment policy in the nation which would badly affect the petty shopkeepers. The third demand is to provide housing sites to the poor street vendors most of whom reside in rented house. It was decided that the street vendors would apply for seeking sites from April onwards.

Inaugurating the conference, CITU District General Secretary Vasanth Achari said that the Central government’s circular sent to the State government for the implementation of the policy for the street vendors should be implemented properly in the Mangalore city. Measures should be taken to protect the interests of the street vendors, by providing them the required facilities, he said.

Coming down heavily on the introduction of the Foreign Direct Investment in India, he said the Association and CITU will strongly condemn the initiative as it severly affects the poor street vendors. There are crores of petty shopkeepers in India who will be hit hard with the retail giants like Wal-mart step inside the country. The street vendors will have to fight for their rights in the days to come, he said.

Identity cards were distributed to the street vendors on the occasion. CITU District Secretary Balakrishna Shetty and Street Vendors Association Honourary President Sunil Kumar Bajal were present.

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