Thursday, July 1, 2010

Centre for Civil Society under it’s ‘Jeevika: Law, Liberty & Livelihood Campaign’ formed a Human Chain urging the government to protect the honest livelihood of poor working in informal sector in partnership with Great India Dream Foundation, Pravah Jaipur Initiative, AIESEC, Rajasthan Abhyudaya Sanstha, National Association of Street Vendors of India and Jaipur Mahanagar Thdai Thela Footpath Vyawasayi Union, at Jal Mahal at 6 PM. Active Citizens of Jaipur and Youth Students of Different colleges also joined the Human Chain.

Mr. Amit Chandra, the Campaign Coordinator of Centre for Civil Society said, “The participation of citizen and youth is very crucial for bringing any kind of social change. We wanted to bring the common citizen out to stand for the livelihood and create a positive environment to enable government to reform the informal sector. Policy reform would ensure protection of livelihood and financial as well as welfare services to the poor working in informal sector such as street vendors, food dhabas, barbars, cycle rickshaw pullers to name a few. The message that we want to pass on to government, media and people is that the street vendors have traditionally been part of social and cultural India and we need to protect this tradition similarly as we have preserved our heritages such as Jal Mahal”

Mr. Ghanshyam Kotwani, Executive Member of National Alliance of Street Vendors of India said, “Street Vendors have to face natural hardships such as rain, sun and cold but they brave it because they have no other alternatives but what really creates problem is the continuous threat and torture of authorities. The stigma attached to us as traffic hazard is also not right. We should be seen as service providers and the one who brings colour, convenience and taste to the life of festival city, Jaipur.”

Mr. Babulal Ramchandani, representative of Jaipur Mahanagar Thdai Thela Footpath Vyawasayi Union at the gathering said, “The Rajasthan Government had introduced a policy for welfare and rehabilitation of street vendors named Pheriwalon Ka Sansar in 2007 which is in effect till date but the Jaipur Municipal Corporation hasn’t implemented this policy. Once the policy is implemented there wouldn’t be a problem of vending and hawking in the city.”

A street play was also done at the beginning of the program showing the hardships of the life of a street vendor. It brought lot of tourists also to come forward and share their view about the issue after which the gathering of around 200 people formed human chain in different shapes and sizes in a very creative and attractive way.

The event was coordinated by Ms. Meenu Nagpal and thank you note was given by Mr. Nitin Dixit at the end.

Amit Chandra
Campaign Coordinator, Centre for Civil Society, D-125, Mahaveer Marg, Ambabari, Jaipur 302012, India

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dear All,

We are organizing a Human Chain activity to pass on the message in public and media that we need to protect the means of making livelihood of poor as we have protected our heritages such as Jal Mahal.
We have created an event on facebook too which you can join and invite others to attend the event. Here is the link of the event!/event.php?eid=133309663365211 .
Kindly spread the event information to people in your contact and help us in publicizing the event and do join yourself. We have only two days to go…
Amit Chandra

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sunday on a Saturday!

I went for a talk show today which was organized by Dainik Bhaskar and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule University. Heard Mr. Surendra Golcha and Mr. Navratna Kothari. It was good to hear life stories of living legends of Jaipur. Got the insights of our traditional entrepreneur. There has been CSR approach in our business families since long. However, I was also upset to see that they all identify the problem of poor development of the state but hardly could work for solutions. CCS should reach to such well connected people and they might take our ideas forward.

I also watched long awaited film for me, Hrithik and Barbara starer Kites. Had heard lot of criticism but heyyyy... It isn't so bad. Barabara looked beautiful. Hrithik is hot and has really worked hard. Direction, dialogues everything is very good. In fact, I am very impressed with the movie. However, I do agree that end of the story isn't as per what Indian viewers look for. Indian audience wants good to win over devil and wants the hero to fight back even with 100 bullets in his body. Indian viewers have still not been mature enough to accept other than the happy end... For me it was good to see some fresh ideas coming from the movie. So happy ending for me : )

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We couldn't submit our memorandum to the Chief Minister Mr Ashok Gehlot after our Dharna on March 18 so the next day morning we went to his residence and submitted our memorandum. These days also we have been running to government offices for the same but very sad to write that nothing has happened so far. It is so disappointing that even after informing the Municipal Corporation about their own duty of taking back their land from the encroachers no step has been taken so far.

We had a very good vendors meet on Saturday in Vidyadhar Nagar market. We had around 40 street vendors all together. These were key vendors from 5 markets Vidyadhar Nagar, Murlipura, Ambabari, Dudh market and 17 no market. Presence of the market secretary, Mr. Keshar Singh made it special for vendors.

It lasted for two hours from 1-30 to 3-30. Mr Sing and I mainly tried to convince vendors as to why they should organize and how giving a shape to their association like cooperative will be beneficial for them. We succeeded in our effort to great extent. Watch out the two pictures.

We have asked the vendors present in the meet to convince all the vendors in their market and to ensure this to happen we decided to keep similar meets in each of other four markets too. Mr Singh has also promised to try to come in those meetings and that is why we have planned these meetings on weekends. We have also fixed up tentative dates too for the meets.

Apr 10: Murlipura

Apr 17: Ambabari

Apr 24: 17 No market

May 01: Dudh market

And we are looking for holding up a big meeting with all the vendors after all the market meets to discuss and start working on giving shape to the Cooperative idea. We are aiming for around 500 vendors to star with.

Meanwhile, I have bought the book on Rajasthan Cooperative Law and going through it J

Amit Chandra

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Against Ban on Jugaads in Rajasthan

Let me go against the current waves and yell out I am against the decision of Rajasthan Government of banning JUGAADS. I do understand the concerns of Rajasthan government about the road safety but at the same time I don't think that banning Jugaads will help. Rajasthan Government should also understand how Jugaads are helping poor farmers in rural Rajasthan where the technologies haven't reached and people trying to tackle the problem of transportation with locally made rural Nanoes. State government must have read these article before reaching to a decision on banning Jugaads.

Amit Chandra

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dharna by Fruits and Vegetable Vendors

The fruits and vegetable vendors have taken out rallies in past demanding licenses and permanent space urging government to protect their livelihood. Now it was the first time I think when vendors are raising their voice againstencroachment to participate democratically in development and making Jaipur a world class city.

‘Jaipur Phal Sabji Vikreta Sayunkt Sangharsh Samiti’ planned of a strike by keeping their business close and to be on Dharna against illegal encroachment on at 11 AM on March 18, 2010 at Saheed Smarak, M I Road, Government Hostel Crossing, Jaipur. ‘Jaipur Phal Sabji Vikreta Sayunkt Sangharsh Samiti’ is being facilitated by Centre for Civil Society under its campaign on urban livelihood named “Jeevika: law, Liberty & Livelihood”.

The Dharna was good with around crowd of 200 street vendors. At the end we submitted memorandum to the Chief Minister. We had good media coverage too J I will share the detail about the event soon. For the time being watch out these pictures of the event.

Will come back with more updates and events like this.

Amit Chandra

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Profile

Amit Chandra currently works as Campaign Coordinator for Jeevika: Law, Liberty & Livelihood Campaign with Centre for Civil Society. He has mainly worked as youth mobilizer for past couple of years with Centre and has motivated hundreds of youth to take up civil society initiative in their own capacity across the country. He graduated in Commerce and post graduated in Social Work. He has been participant of "International Youth Exchange Program - 2007". He worked for campus and community radio of Guelph University, Canada and hosted a show spreading awareness about the availability of various social services in the city. He also worked at grass rout level with "Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses", Hathin, Haryana for assessment of micro financial status of self help groups of women. He is also a Think Tank MBA from Atlas Economic Research Foundation, USA. He was recently invited for an international conference for networking of think tanks at Niagara on Lake, Canada.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Presentation session to Rajasthan Government officers

Dear all,

To update you about me and the campaign (Jeevika: Law, Liberty & livelihood) I am working on, we offered a workshop/presentation session to Rajasthan Government officers to give our expert input regarding effective and time bound implementation of the Bill on Urban Street Vendors. There were officers of the state related with vendors’ issues including the Principle Secretary (UD&H), Director ULB, Police Superintendent (Traffic), Secretary (HB), Secretary Development Authority along with CEO/Municipal Commissioner of four cities.

We had two experts to talk about how the Urban Street Vendors Bill (Protection of Livelihood and regulation of Street Vending) can be implemented. Ms Shalini Trivedi from SEWA talked about how the planning should be done at city level according to the provisions of the Bill. Mr Arbind Singh from NASVI talked about what are needed to be done to implement the policy. We also screened a small documentary on NASVI experience in Bhubneshwar and then we had a Question & Answer session.

Major issues that raised and addressed in the meeting are:

  1. Land for Vendor markets
  2. Vendors’ management at prime locations
  3. Vendors’ management in old walled city
  4. Identification of genuine vendors
  5. Guarantee of not coming back to the same place
  6. Licensing would lead to black market of licenses
  7. Tolerance level for government
  8. Influx of population from outside of city
  9. Sustainability of vendors policy
  10. Process of licensing

We also had few street vendors representative from major cities of Rajasthan and few representatives of NGOs of Jaipur. People also raised the issue of recent eviction in Jodhpur.

Mr. Snadhu Principle Secretary of Urban Development and Home has given instructions to take up the recommendations and start work immediately in all big cities of Rajasthan.

I can say that overall we had good start in Jaipur and things look positive. Now we need to enlarge this momentum and get things done on the ground. I am also attaching one picture of the meeting. Unfortunately, our camera ran out of battery in between the program and I had not many good pictures to choose from.

Thank you to all of you who joined us in the meeting. Do share your opinion about the meeting and your ideas for the way forward.