Street vendors stage sit-into air their plight

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IMPHAL, May 22: Women street vendors of Khwairamband Keithel area today staged a sit-in protest demanding their right to life and livelihood to enable them to fend for their families and send their children to school. The sit in protest was staged at Keishampat Lairembi Community Hall at Keishampat Junction here today.

Speaking at the sideline of the protest, N Bina Devi who is one of the representatives of around 2000 street vendors asked the government whether the poor people do not have a place in the state. “We are requesting the government to give at least some hours in a day so that we can sell our wares in peace,” she said.

It was informed later that a memorandum consisting of 5 demands of the street vendors was to be submitted to the Governor of the state Gurbachand Jagat today. However, the vendors were blocked by the police.

It was stated in the memorandum that the street vendors are facing much hardship as they could not feed their children. It said that the vendors could not sell wares in peace for around 2 years as they have been chased and beaten like cattle, tortured and warned not to sell wares at Khwairamband but to sell them at Sanakeithel which does not have a thriving buying culture.

The demands in the memorandum were that torturing and causing panic to the street vendors should be stopped immediately. It also called for a lasting policy to be adopted so that a suitable place is arranged for them to make them able to feed and school their children.

The announcement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2009 to states’ CMs to adopt programs for street vendors should be converted into action. The issue of street vendors should be discussed in the Assembly session which is schedule to hold on June 10, 2013, it added.

The fifth demand said, the mentioned demands is hoped to be converted into actions by the Governor sooner. However, if it turns out negative then intense agitation will be launched.

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