Street food vendors in limbo

Street Vendors say they are finding it hard to register themselves online, a mandatory provision for getting a vending licence, as the website of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is only in English.

Most of them do not even have an email id which makes it more difficult for them to register online.

The last date for registration is August 4.

“It’s difficult to fill up the online forms ourselves as we don’t know English. We don’t even know how to operate a computer,” said Vimla Devi, a vendor in Shahdara. She added that the government is ignorant of their problems.

“We all could have understood in a better way had the language been Hindi,” said Shri Ram who runs a fruit shop in Lodhi Colony. He added that setting camps in markets will help the community to understand the registration process better.

Some vendors said that the slow pace of registration process, which started a few months ago, is affecting their business as lack of licence is leading to forced eviction by municipal corporations.

The Street Vendors (Protection of livelihood and Regulation of street vending) Bill, 2014 was passed on February 19. It makes it mandatory for the state government to provide vending zones and licences to street vendors.

Some vendors said that there are too many steps to be followed for uploading documents and creating user IDs and passwords.

National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) organised an online registration class for its members on Wednesday in collaboration with FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) officials at Gandhi Peace Foundation to make them understand the process better.

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