Street vendors and market traders are an integral part of urban economies around the world, offering easy access to a wide range of affordable goods and services in public spaces.
International Street Vendors’ Day is celebrated on 14th November among street vendors around the world to address their common needs and challenges. This is especially important as a large percentage of street and market vendors especially women vendors continue to face harassment and violence in their working spaces on a daily basis.
The vital role that street vendors play in the economy is often overlooked, and even criminalised in some places. They are often deprived of a decent living, have no safety nets and are usually unorganised, which makes it difficult for them to voice and win their collective demands.
NEN Nagaland observed ISVD at two pre-events in 3 districts at Kohima, Dimapur on 13th November and at Tuensang (Shamator), Shamator on 12th November, in collaboration with SEWA Nagaland.
108 street vendors across the districts came together to observe the day, creating awareness and visibility to the works of Women Street Vendors and their contribution to society.
The vendors brought fresh organic vegetables and fruits, craft items, and other miscellaneous items to sell their produce at designated street markets and spend the day supporting and demonstrating collective efforts in public spaces. The ISVD market spaces were received well by the public and received much support through their generous purchases.
The Covid-19 pandemic makes this year’s international day even more important as a way to promote solidarity with street vendors and other informal traders. Despite open-air markets and street vending being the places where most people buy their food, government closures to prevent the spread of corona virus have left street vendors across Nagaland without any social protection.