Vendors demand their rightful place

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IMPHAL, January 20: `We brave the sun and the hazardous roadside conditions every day to feed our families, but every day we have to run helter-skelter, the police and traffic treat us like cows. We demand a separate vending area within the market limits`, Mema, a street vendor who sells vegetables told IFP during the side lines of the observation of National Vendors Day held at Manipur Press Club today.

Mema further added that the vending site allocated by the state government at Lamphel supermarket is not feasible for conducting business as there are less shoppers and necessary infrastructure is lacking.

The observation was jointly organized by Manipur Keithel Nupi Lup, Friendship Centre Manipur,Manipur Keithel Phambi Apunba Lup and Roadside Street Vendors Welfare Association under the banner of National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI).

The occasion was attended by Rakhesh Meihoubam, director of Human Rights Law Network, Rk Rajendra, former member of Manipur Human Rights Commission, social activist Dr. Dhanabir Laishram, Prof.Chinglen Meisnam, Department of economics (MU), Y Ibeni Devi, president of Manipur Keithel Nupi Marup and L Mema Devi, president of Manipur Keithel Phambi Apunba Lup as the presidium members.

Speaking at the function, Prof. Chinlen Meisnam stressed on the need to address the woes incurred by the street vendors by the state administration. He stated that there is an unequal distribution of wealth among the public and in the hill areas.

Mentioning sources from the National Election Watch(NEW), he pointed out that there are at least 33 self-declared millionaires contesting in the upcoming election. `According to analysis by NEW, the millionaires have high chances of winning. It is surprising to see so many from the hill areas which clearly indicate the high inequality in living standards and accumulation of wealth`. Chinlen further pointed out that three millionaires are contesting for Henglep a/c namely Sehphu Haokip of NPF with ,T Manga Vaiphei of INC and T Thangzalam Haokip of AITC.

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