Study on Street Vending in Mumbai

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Kalimuthu – 199
Jeetesh K Patel – 217
Prasad Kubal – 205
Jitendra Yadav – 234
Vivek Kothari – 204
Franco Fernandes - 236


Prof. Satish Namjoshi


Statistical Treatment and Diagnostics
Executive Summary


We would like to express our gratitude and special admiration to Prof.Namjoshi for his unremitting support and guidance in the grounding of this project.

Also our special thanks to the Hawkers of Mumbai city for providing us their vital information, precious time and their spirituous support.


This report is based on a study of hawkers and street vendors conducted in Mumbai. The purpose of this study is two-fold. Firstly, it tries to objectively understand the problems of street vendors in Mumbai. Its scope is not restricted to street vendors alone but it tries to relate the profession in the wider urban context by examining the legal status of hawkers, their contribution to the urban economy, the problems they face, the perceptions of the urban population towards them, and the their position in urban society. Secondly, based on the above information this report attempts to examine and understand the problems faced by the street vendors and the possible means of overcoming these. In most Indian cities the urban poor survive by working in the informal sector. Poverty and lack of gainful employment in the rural areas and in the smaller towns drive large numbers of people to the cities for work and livelihood. These people generally possess low skills and lack the level of education required for the better paid jobs in the organized sector. Besides, permanent protected jobs in the organized sector are shrinking hence even those having the requisite skills are unable to find proper employment. For these people work in the informal sector are the only means for their survival. This has led to a rapid growth of the informal sector in most of the larger cities. For the urban poor, hawking is one of the means of earning a livelihood, as it requires minor financial input and the skills involved are low. A large section of street vendors in Mumbai are those with low skills and who have migrated to Mumbai from rural areas or small towns in search of employment. These people take to street vending when they do not find other means of livelihood. Though the income in this profession is low, the investment too is low and the people do not require special skills or training. Hence for these people, men and women, street vending is the easiest form for earning their livelihood. Thus, over the past few decades we can observe that there is substantial increase in the number of hawkers in Mumbai. Mumbai has the largest number of hawkers numbering around 200,000. Calcutta has more than 100,000 hawkers. Ahmedabad and Patna have around 80,000 each and Indore, Bangalore and Bhubaneshwar have around 30,000 hawkers. The total employment provided through hawking becomes larger if we consider the fact that they sustain certain industries by providing markets for their products. A lot of the goods sold by hawkers, such as clothes and hosiery, leather and moulded plastic goods and household goods, are manufactured in small scale or home-based industries. These industries employ a large number of workers. The manufacturers could have hardly marketed their products on their own. In this way they provide a valuable service by helping sustain employment in these industries.These aspects are, however, ignored by the urban authorities-the municipality and the police-because more often than not hawking is considered an illegal activity and hawkers are treated as criminals. Socio-Economic Study of Hawkers:

The findings in this section are based on surveys on...
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