History of Sewa Nagar Pilot Project Attempt to Create a Model Hawking Zone for Street Vendors MANUSHI SANGATHAN E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.manushi-india.org
Policies Galore but No Implementation Central Government adopts a New National Policy for Street Vendors 20th January 2004 National Task Force for Street Vendors was set up by the Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation in 2002. Member of this Task Force included Sewa, Manushi, Hawkers Sangram Samiti of Kolkatta and Bombay Hawkers Union etc. This resulted in a National Policy for Street Vendors which was approved by the cabinet in January 2004.
Model Vendor Market: An Exercise in Self Governance To combat official prejudice against vendors Manushi offered to take responsibility to show by example how vendors can be accommodated in the city in an aesthetic and orderly manner. We raised funds, hired a team of architects and submitted a detailed plan of action to MCD which included the following responsibilities:
Management and recycling of garbage through voluntary contribution from hawkers.
Commitment on oath from them to keep within a consensually agreed “ Sanyam Rekha ” or Line of Self Discipline. Hawkers who do not observe this discipline are fined Rs. 100 per violation of Sanyam Rekha . Habitual violators have their membership to Manushi SANGATHAN suspended or cancelled. Such denial or cancellation of membership is duly informed to the MCD, which is free to evict those vendors.
Provide a detailed plan for the improvement and up gradation of the physical infrastructure of the Pilot Project area, including pavements, boundary walls, local parks.
Redesign the rehdis and vending platforms to improve their functionality, cleanliness and aesthetic appeal .
Ensure that vendors pay for the cost of new stalls and rehdis.
Get written commitment on oath from each hawker of the Pilot Project that he/she will not put up any unauthorized permanent structure on the pavements or anywhere else in the market. MANUSHI will also through its organizational inputs ensure compliance of this commitment.
Ensure rent compliance from all those street vendors who opt to become part of the model market project .
Involve residents from neighbouring colonies to collaborate with Manushi’s efforts.
Earmark and maintain proper parking spaces for vehicular traffic, including cycle rickshaws.
Seeking Legal Sanction for Model Market Project A major breakthrough in getting sanction for the pilot project occured after the MCD got a pro citizen Commissioner, Mr. Rakesh Mehta, who strongly backed this project. The MCD Commissioner approached the Supreme Court to allow the M.C.D. to undertake two pilot projects, one at Sewa Nagar and the second near CGO complex. The petition filed by the MCD in the Supreme Court argued forcefully that the existing tehbazari system had facilitated massive extortion rackets and widespread human rights abuses. It admitted that the restrictive licensing policy had proved a dismal failure in controlling the number of vendors in the city which keep increasing with the overall rise in population of Delhi. Therefore, there was need to evolve a more realistic system of licensing. The petition also informed the Court that if the pilot projects proved successful, they would provide a model for creating hawking zones all over Delhi
Supreme Court Sanctions SEWA Nagar Model Market for Street Vendors on April 10, 2003 Extract from the Order issued in April 2003 by the Supreme Court giving the go-ahead for two Pilot Projects – in Sewa Nagar and opposite CGO Complex …” The implementation of any policy or project, howsoever well-motivated it may be, depends on the bona fides and whole-hearted faithful implementation by the agencies involved in the execution. We only hope and trust that such projects and policies shall not be shadowed by corruption and red-tapism which, unfortunately, has become the order of the day…”
An Agreement was signed and registered between MCD and Manushi for the Sewa Nagar and CGO Complex Pilot Projects on April 7, 2004. Mrs. Ambika Soni supported the Sewa Nagar project with Rs 25 lakhs from her MPLAD fund to build the required civic infrastructure in Sewa Nagar. Legal Agreement between MCD and Manushi for Executing Pilot Projects Sewa Nagar project started in October 2004 amidst violence and repeated assaults from the police and local extortionist mafia. Copy of the agreement signed with the MCD
A Facsimile of the Membership oath signed by all vendors
Each Vendors signed an oath that he/she will:
Observe civic discipline and stay within the Sanyam Rekha.
Neither sell nor rent out the allotted stall or else the stall will be taken back.
Pay monthly rent for the stall to the MCD. Since October 2004, each project member started paying RS.390 per month rent to MCD through Manushi.
Contribute monthly towards the salary of the Safai Brigade.
Accept punitive fines and/or cancellation of membership if he/she violates Sanyam Rekha or break other disciplines mandated in Shapath Patra.
Pay the cost of improved stalls and management cost of the project.
Sewa Nagar Pilot Project
The State of Sewa Nagar Market before Manushi Took Charge Vendors occupied and wasted huge amounts of space in all the lanes and roads surrounding Sewa Nagar residential blocks. As this scene shows, the vendors are right on the road leaving nearly 12 feet space behind their stalls.
…… Before Manushi Took Charge Vendors who were able to pay bigger bribes, were allowed to occupy huge spaces bang on the road- often measuring 20 ft. by 12-15 ft. thus causing road congestion.
The Squalor and Garbage Heaps before the Project Took off in Sewa Nagar Manushi members personally cleaning and removing the garbage piles behind the pilot project area which is a source of stench and mosquitoes for both residents and vendors. We were physically prevented from maintaining cleanliness in the area by M.C.D. employees and those manning the railway crossing on the ground that citizens had no right to clean municipal or railway land! ( For an account of one such confrontation click here) We persisted and succeeded in organising our own Cleaning Brigade and keeping municipal sweepers out who also collected Rs. 60 per month per vendor by way of bribe without doing much cleaning.
First Steps Towards Civic Discipline On December 19, 2001 we drew up a Sanyam Rekha Respect for Sanyam Rekha an essential precondition for membership of Manushi Sangathan. Heavy penalties for violation of the Sanyam Rekha. Membership of habitual violators is suspended till they make amends and sign a new pact.
Manushi Cleaning Brigade The salaries of Manushi Safai Brigade come from contributions by vendors with each vendor paying Rs. 50 per month depending on the amount of garbage they generate.
Maintaining Cleanliness as a Sacred Duty Jhadu pooja (broom worship) is a standard ritual in all Manushi Sangathan meetings to inculcate a sense of respect for cleanliness, so lacking in India's civic life. This picture of the first jhadu pooja performed on December 19, 2001 appeared on the cover of issue no. 127 of Manushi magazine . The Broom Deity slowly acquired the form of a full fledged Goddess – Manushi Swacchnarayani
Group of Muslim fish vendors with Jhadu in hand taking an oath in the year 2003 that they will pay special attention to cleanliness since fish stalls tend to generate unbearable filth and stink. Former Commissioner MCD, Mr Rakesh Mehta and Dr. Renuka Vishwanathan, Secretary Govt of India, (extreme right) performing Jhadu Pooja along with Muslim and Hindu vendors on the day “Agreement” for the pilot project was signed in 2004.
The Many Powers of Swacchnarayani Swacchanarayani represents many qualities and powers typified by the symbols she holds in her hands. These are:
A broom to symbolize our respect for cleanliness of the physical
environment as well as our resolve to cleanse the government
machinery of corruption.
A clock to emphasise the need to change with changing times
and remove all the archaic colonial laws imposed on our people.
A coin placed in the palm of the Goddess held in abhay mudra
to communicate our resolve that citizens are allowed to earn a
dignified livelihood without fear, harassment and extortion.
A weighing-balance symbolizing our commitment to social justice.
A movie camera , as our weapon to fight assaults on vendors since
a large part of the success of our campaign for policy and
law reform for street vendors was due to our recording on
videotape the human rights violations of vendors and using the
documentary film we made
on street vendors as a tool of campaign and lobbying.
A diya (earthen lamp) to symbolize the dispelling of darkness and
bringing hope for the poor and vulnerable.
An account book as a symbol of our honest account keeping and resolve to make all financial dealings of this project available on a notice board as well as our website.
A pen as a symbol of wisdom and learning.
A conch shell symbolizing purity and transparency as well as a clarion call for self organization of citizens.
A stalk of barley to symbolize multiplication of wealth as well as the spread of our message. Just as one seed can produce unlimited number of grains, so also we hope that this pilot project will show the way for numerous more such initiatives.
The Goddess stands on a lotus flower to convey how we are attempting to create beauty out of squalor.
New Stalls at Sewa Nagar Balancing aesthetics and functionality Readymade garment sellers are now limited to 6ft x 6 ft space with 5 ft wide pavement. Vendors are not allowed to encroach on pavements.
The Wheels Underneath Stalls Many of the stalls are on wheels to convey the sense that the land does not belong to the vendor
After making 6 feet by 6 feet stalls, there is a 5 feet. wide pavement for pedestrians Park fronts cleared of encroachments and made available as beautiful public spaces Road space wider by 10 feet than before so vehicular traffic can move without needless obstructions. Legitimate needs of all road users kept in mind
Then … Vendors occupied and wasted huge amounts of space in all the lanes and roads surrounding Sewa Nagar residential blocks. As this scene shows, the vendors are right on the road leaving nearly 12 feet space behind their stalls. New fruit stalls designed by Manushi. Each vendor paid for his/her own stall. and Now…
State of Park Fronts before Manushi Took Charge The clutter, squalor and encroachments outside a Sewa Nagar park. A tempo stand and two roomed office of tempo owners who used to put a board outside their office of whichever party came to power in front of the west side park in the project area.
Manushi Developed Park Plazas Two encroached park fronts were cleared by Manushi without the use of police force to create spaces for rest and recreation.
A view of Swachhnarayani Mandir built with contributions from vendors to reinforce the message that maintaining cleanliness and civic discipline are SACRED DUTIES of all citizens. Swachhnarayani Mandir in the west side park plaza For an account of the “Emergency Avatar of Manushi Swachhnarayani.”
A Toilet Block clad in granite built with contributions of vendors. Toilet Block in Sewa Nagar
Pro People Planning: Building Bridges across Class Divides
1) Our plans and interventions take into account the legitimate requirements of all categories of road users, vendors, shoppers, pedestrians as well as vehicular traffic.
2) We mobilise vendors as self employed workers as well as responsible citizens. We fight for their right to livelihood to be respected by the State but also make sure that they pay for various services they use, including space, electricity, water and market security.
3) Every neighbourhood uses hawkers for daily use needs and would benefit from clean and well ordered market spaces and, therefore, have a stake in maintaining them well. Thus we work to bring different strata of citizens on a common platform to make common cause in fighting corruption, mismanagement and eliminate the hold of criminal mafias.
4) We move out of the Third World mindset which accepts dirt and squalor as the inevitable fate of our citizens. By setting high standards you change the habits of citizens through the “metro effect”. Citizens litter dirty and poorly maintained bus stands, but not the clean and shining metro stations.
5) Clean and well ordered markets for ordinary citizens will raise their aspiration level and enhance their self esteem. Self respecting citizens are an asset for any society. Citizens who accept filth, disorder and abuse as their lot, become self-hating and those with low self esteem usually turn destructive.
6) We learn to plan and maintain our cities in tune with the actual requirement of our citizens and their income levels rather than follow alien and inappropriate models of low populated western countries.
7) Our cities planning must combine aesthetics with optimum utilization of space to encourage micro enterprises and self employment rather than curb it through restrictive and unrealistic land use policies. Singapore and Tokyo have higher density population than Delhi but they do not have oppressive and claustrophobic living and working conditions because they are well planned and well administered.
Pro People Planning…
State of MCD Maintained Parks in Sewa Nagar till date
Vendors outside the pilot project pay Rs 3000-4000 per month by way of rent to local political mafia that claim ownership of these stalls by illegal occupation. Letting vendors operate in a chaotic manner is a deliberate strategy of to justify “Clearance Operations” which keeps the terror alive for extracting bribes.
The Chaos outside the Pilot Project
The Extortionist Mafia on the Warpath From the day the pilot project was sanctioned, local politicians who are part of the bribe collecting mafia unleashed a reign of terror. They beat up our members, destroyed the project property repeatedly, threatened us with dire consequences. In addition to goonda tactics, they petitioned the High Court in January 2005 for a stay order against the pilot project. The High Court did not grant a stay order , but the mafia kept filing additional complaints on bogus grounds to drag on the case. The case is pending adjudication. Even while the case was going on, their terror tactics did not stop. Their main grouse: Manushi did agree to allot a number of stalls to them. In this Operation Sabotage, they received full support from local politicians
The Battle gets Life Threatening The Mafia Takes Over Stalls through Violence and Fraud As the Sewa Nagar market neared completion, the mafia found yet another way of taking over the stalls. Some of them act as moneylenders and operate devious and illegal chit-funds who give loans to local vendors at an extortionist rate of interest--120 % per annum. They forced several indebted vendors to illegally transfer their stalls to them. Ajay Basoya and Bhagat Singh, two of the gang leaders One of the sealed stalls In January 2007 Manushi and MCD sealed stalls taken over illegally by the mafia.The mafia responded with violent attacks and beat up several project members and drove them out of the market. Manushi staff were also beaten up, robbed and prevented from working in the area. Since these criminal elements belong to a powerful community of the neighbouring village, Kotla Mubarkpur, vendors are terrified of standing up to them.
Due to the transformation of Sewa Nagar from a slum-like hawker market to a neat and well-developed area, the market value of each stall and the combined value of the entire pilot project area is today worth several crores. Each stall already commands a black-market price of Rs. 5-10 lakhs depending on its location. This price will rise dramatically if Manushi is pushed out and stalls can be freely bought and sold.
The local politicians and their mafia associates are not willing to allow an ordinary vendor to have usufruct rights over a property whose market value is rising fast given the short supply of commercial space in Delhi. They are being ousted one by one through force and fraud.
Politicians of all hues are all united by common interest – to ensure that the livelihood of vendors stays captive in their grip so that they do not dare resist paying bribes and do their bidding at election times.
Reasons For Violence
The Basoya Tempo Stand: A Hub of Criminals Extract from the Minutes of a meeting held June 6, 2007 under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner (Central Zone) “ It was decided that since the Tempo Stand has become the hub for anti social elements out to forcibly takeover the project property and stalls, determined action should be taken to get the unauthorized Tempo parking and the illegally constructed office of the Basoya Tempo Stand removed from the project area. After getting it removed with police protection, the local police should be informed that the Basoya Tempo Stand should not be allowed to reoccupy space in the Sewa Nagar area.” Ajay and Babli Basoya in front of their tempo stand The criminal mafia out to grab Sewa Nagar project properties is led by Bhagat Singh and Basoya brothers. Both belong to the dominant Gujjar community of the neighbouring Kotla Mubarakpur village. Bhagat Singh is a Class III employee of L.N.J.P. hospital in Delhi and a resident of Sewa Nagar. He claims to be a trade unionist and boasts that he can skip duty at his job as and when he pleases because of his political clout. Basoya brothers run several illegal businesses from their Tempo Stand.
Regular addabazi including daily booze sessions in the park plaza where they have also constructed an illegal office next to Hanuman idol. Even though the Park Plazas are MCD property, Bhagat Singh installed a fake billboard using the logo and name of the Govt. of India in order to make a show of protection from the high and mighty.
Women of Basoya household along with a mob of men attempting to lynch Madhu Kishwar
In March 2009, the Basoya gang inflicted serious injuries on another local vendors--Sanju. They smashed his face with bricks, and beat him up with a bat. There was a two-inch gash on his head. He fell unconscious and lay bleeding on the road for a long before he was taken to hospital. They also robbed him of his gold chain and his mobile phone. But the SHO would not register a case till we intervened through the DCP. When Sanju refused to yield to SHO’s pressure and threats to with draw his case, the SHO coerced him into signing a “compromise” with the Basoya gang by filing patently bogus counter cases of criminal assault and “attempt to murder” against Sanju, his old father, Sanju’s handicapped uncle and Sanju’s cousin at the behest of Basoya Brothers. Another Instance of Police Complicity
Head injuries inflicted on Murari in Sewa Nagar August 1, 2009
A lucrative transport business owning about a dozen mini trucks or tempos .
Extortionist money-lending, charging 120% per year interest from local street vendors and other needy people. They use terror tactics to extract their loan repayment and have used this tactic to illegally take over stalls of several vendors.
An unregistered Kameti business which acts as a supplement to their money lending business. Those in need of loans are induced to join the Kameti and lift money at a loss and thereafter made to pay hefty instalments of Rs 7000 to 10,000 per month . Default in installments invites penalty at 120% rate of interest.
They own two four storey buildings in Kotla Mubarakpur, for which the monthly rent is over 1.25 lakhs.
Above: Basoya tempos and one of their taxi sparked near the Toilet Block.This unauthorized Tempo Stand has been “removed” twice on the orders of the MCD and but the Basoya tempos would come right back because the police lets them do so. Illegal and Legal Businesses Owned by Basoya Brothers .
Making and selling duplicate copies of pornographic and other CDs. They hold shows of blue films at night at their adda.
Buying and selling stolen petrol and diesel from government and private company cars that offload petrol and diesel to them during late hours of the night.
Selling ground water at exorbitant prices to shopkeepers and residents of the area from bore pump they drilled illegally. For example, they charge Rs.300/- per month per fish vendor and those selling cooked food for the supply of water
Supply of building materials, which they stock in Sewa Nagar by-lanes.
Breed and sell pigeons and dogs from their adda.
They also own a lot of farmland in and around Gurgaon.
Modus Operandi for Grabbing Stalls In the month of April 2003, the money-lending mafia led by Basoyas persuaded Yogesh Kumar into taking a loan of Rs 35,000 at an interest rate of Rs 10 percent per month to buy goods for his stall. Yogesh has aldready paid over 3,63,000 Rs. by way of interest to the Bhagat-Basoya gang. They are claiming 1,20,000 more by way of interest and have not only confiscated his scooter but also forced Yogesh to give them several signed blank cheques. Yogesh fled from Sewa Nagar out of fear because Bhagat-Basoya gang began to threaten him to either pay up the entire amount in one go or transfer his stall to their name. Yogesh has been able to save his stall by fleeing the market but it meant remaining without work for several months. Others more vunerable, have had to surrender their stalls in this manner. Yogesh and his mother Saroj Devi who finally took courage and filed a case against the Bhagat-Basoya gang.
The Basoyas have taken over the corner stall of yet another vendor who owes them more than 5 lakh Rs on an initial loan of about 1 lakh Rs. They have rented this stall and the pavement in front to two fruit vendors from outside. They charge Rs 4500 per month from these two vendors. They have also allowed other pavements to be similarly occupied in the project area. Under Manushi discipline pavements were never occupied by vendors. Mafia Sabotages the Project by Breaking Down Civic Discipline in Sewa Nagar
Breakdown of civic discipline after Manushi pushed out. Drains are choked and pavements are littered.
The clothes of Basoya Tempo drivers and cleaners hanging in the park plaza Breakdown of civic discipline with new vendors brought in by Basoyas
The Toilet Block built with contributions from project members was also illegally taken over by the Bhagat-Basoya gang. We had to get the Toilet Block sealed by the MCD to prevent further misuse of this property. Board put up on the Toilet Block wall by Bhagat Singh and Basoya proclaiming “ Pracheen Hanuman Mandir ” An idol of Lord Hanuman recently positioned near the toilet block next to their illegally constructed office – in an attempt to grab the entire park plaza including the toilet block Devious Designs over Project Assets
Vendors from outside brought in by Basoyas to put up shop in the park plaza and on the roads and pavements with Basoyas charging Rs 100 per day from each vendor.
Attempts to Take Over Temple of Swachhnarayani The criminal mafia has also hatched a plan to take over the Swachhnarayani temple built with contributions of vendors as well as donations from Manushi friends. To achieve this end they are doing their best to foment communal and caste conflict. Strangely enough, those trying to instigate Muslims are Hindu trouble makers. Above: Bhagat-Basoya gang creating a ruckus in front of Swachhnarayani Mandir. Defaced walls of the Temple The Goddess of Good Governance and Protector of Citizens’ Rights
The first Jhadu Pooja and oath ceremony on December 19, 2001 The mafia are trying their best to bring in outside trouble makers to attack the temple and give press interviews and testimonies against Manushi since our project members, including Muslims are unwilling to denigrate Jhadu Pooja . They instigate the Muslims saying, “ Jhadu pooja is against your mazhab. You should protest against it..” They have falsely alleged that Manushi seals the stalls of Muslims who do not perform Jhadu pooja due to their religious reservations. Despite fear of the mafia’s violence, Muslim vendors have challenged this falsehood through written complaints to the police . They instigate the Hindus by playing on casteist sentiments saying: “ Only the untouchables take jhadu in their hand. Manushi is ruining your caste and making you all into jamadars (sweepers) by insisting that you worship the Jhadu . This is an attack on Hindu dharma ” Muslim vendors serving Bhandara during Navratras (2006)
In May 2007 Manushi filed a Criminal Writ in the High Court seeking protection for our lives and for the assets of the project. However, violent attacks against project members continued unabated. After each case of violent attack on Manushi staff or project members the Bhagat-Basoya gang filed bogus complaints of criminal assault by Manushi members. The mafia has implicated several vendors including Mehboob, Rajkumar, Ishwar and Shahid who are active organizers of Manushi as well as Madhu Kishwar in a number of false cases. Undeterred the mafia leaders filed a complaint in the Magistrate’s Court at Patiala House that the SHO Kotla police station is not registering cases against Manushi and he should be directed to register FIRs which would have invited prompt arrest. The mafia’s slander campaign and complaints against Manushi rest on the absurd charge that the MCD never gave responsibility to Manushi for this project and we have misused funds and exploited vendors to build a personal estate. Criminals Put us in the Dock
One of the Many Attacks on 31. 12. 2007 Manushi staff member Sheeshpal and Madhu Kishwar were beaten black and blue on 31 st December around 12 30 pm, all because we had gone to take photographs of the area. Several members of the Basoya gang beat up Shishpal with dandas, and nearly strangled him to death. Madhu was kicked and punched by three of them. They were trying to shove us in our car and set it on fire when the police came and managed to rescue us. However, as with other attacks, the Basoya’s have filed a bogus counter case alleging that Shishpal had run over a 65 year old woman of their family, and that Mehboob and Ishwar had snatched their mother’s chain. Madhu with a torn ligament and bruises like this all over her body.
The police authorities ignore complaint and remain silent over the whole issue A social worker allegedly rammed her car into a 65-year-old woman on December 31, and later the goons threaten the family. The police authorities instead of registering a complaint sit silent over the whole issue. The driver of Madhu Purnima Kishwar, head of Manushi, an NGO in Civil Lines, rammed his car into one Sona Devi, a resident of Kotla Mubarakpur at Sewa Nagar Chowk in South Delhi. When the relatives of the victim complained about it, they were beaten up. Thrashed "A silver coloured Esteem hit my aunt while she was returning from the Sewa Nagar Chowk. We heard Madhu Kishwar ordering her driver to kill my aunt. My aunt got critically injured. When our children, Cookie and Babli, tried to stop them, Kishwar who was along with few other men came out of the car and thrashed them. Soon after many people from the market surrounded the car and took all of them to the Kotla Mubarakpur police station," alleged Ajay Basoya, a relative of the victim. According the relatives of the victim, Kishwar and the SHO of the police station had a brief chat and the police instead of registering a complaint against Kishwar took a complaint from her and then acted according to that. "We were not at all entertained at the police station. The SHO soon ordered us to leave the police station and later commanded the constables to carry out lathi charge if we do not leave the station," said Basoya. When the relatives of the victim insisted, the police detained all men from the family. A lady ath their house said, "We have been threatened both by the police and Kishwar's henchmen." An FIR has also been registered in the issue. …. Criminals put us in the Dock…Report in Mid-Day January 4, 2008 “ Social worker’s car rams woman” Author: Praveen Kumar Date: 03 Jan 2008
Intervention by the LG and Prime Minister The LG had clearly instructed a few months ago that CCTV cameras should be positioned in Sewa Nagar to keep the local anti-social elements under check. Unfortunately, the cameras have not been installed so far. Therefore, we have had more incidents of violence, attacks, robbery and coercion at Sewa Nagar. In a letter dated December 18 th , 2007 the LG’s office has issued written instructions to the Police Commissioner that CCTV cameras should be installed at the earliest possible. To quote from this letter: “ The LG is of the view that installing CCTV cameras in the areas pointed by Madhu Kishwar cannot brook any delay. This facility will help in giving a boost to setting up the projects contemplated to locate vendors meaningfully not only in Sewa Nagar but in other areas of Delhi. On this issue specific directions have been received from PMO. …The LG is of the view that the criminal activities of the Bhagat-Basoya group must be curbed with a firm hand so as to ensure that their activities are not an obstacle to the functioning of the Pilot Project for setting up Street vendors in Sewa Nagar.”
Undertaken by the Municipal Commissioner of Delhi with sanction of the Supreme Court
Strongly supported by the Lt Governor of Delhi and the Prime Minister of India
Funded by the MPLAD Fund of a senior minister in the Congress Government ,
Backed by the Deputy Commissioner of the concerned Zone .
Endorsed and appreciated by senior leaders of both the Congress and the BJP, the two national parties that rule Delhi;
Managed by a well known organisation like Manushi in the heart of South Delhi in the vicinity of elite colonies like Lodhi Estate and Defence Colony can be taken over by a bunch of local criminals with such ease, simply because for months on end the police did not stand up to the might of goondas and several politicians provide them active support. Action came to be taken only after the express intervention of the Prime Minister and the Lt Governor of Delhi.
It is a telling commentary on the state of our law and order machinery that a project:
The Sewa Nagar model hawker market was envisaged as an experiment to evolve a practical mechanism for implementing the National Policy for Street Vendors with integrity. Manushi tried providing a model of how our cities can be rejuvenated and beautified without forcibly throwing out the poor, and security of livelihood provided for self-employed poor while enhancing municipal revenues. It has gained national and international recognition with the UN Commission for the Legal Empowerment of the Poor propagating it as an international role model for economic and legal empowerment of the urban poor. Larger Significance of Sewa Nagar Project. Today, the very existence of Sewa Nagar as a model market is in jeopardy. This will have far reaching implications on the implementation of the National Policy for Street Vendors. Cover photo of a documentary film made on Sewa Nagar as an international role model by UNDP’s Commission for the Legal Empowerment of the Poor