गुरुवार, 15 अक्तूबर 2015

Loss of livelihood of woman vendors due to Odisha Govt action

Right to Food Campaign, Odisha
Plot No- 393/2035, 2nd Floor, Padmavati Vihar, Post- Sailashree Vihar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Ref. No- RTF/ 71/15                                                               Date:  11.10.15

The Chairman
National Human Rights Commission
Manav Adhikar Bhawan
Block- “C”
GPO Complex, INA, New Delhi-110023

Sub- Complaint on “loss of livelihood  of woman vendors  due  to forcibly destruction of Vending Zone located at Science Park of Bhubaneswar by the officials of Bhubaneswar  Municipal  Corporation  and Police  .    

I Sri Pradip Pradhan, State Convener, Right to Food Campaign, Odisha bring to the kind notice of the commission the following matter seeking for immediate intervention and necessary action. 

That, in May, 2015, a Woman Vending Zone, first of its kind in Odisha was set up by the State Government at Science Park, Acharya Vihar and 67 woman vendors were allotted shop in the said Zone. The objective of this programme was to empower the woman to manage themselves independently being self-employed and ensure their livelihood. It was inaugurated with much fanfare by the Mayor, BMC in presence of Local MLA and Corporators. The Woman Vendors had borrowed money from their relatives and money lenders and invested in the shop.

While  the woman vendors had been  to attend  a  rally  organized  by Biju Janata Dal, party  in power  addressed  by Chief Minister, Odisha,  the officials of BMC and  Police  undertook eviction drive  and destroyed  all the shops  without  any prior notice to them.  However, getting the information from reliable sources, the woman vendors reached in the spot and opposed the drive and appealed the police with folded hand and tears not to destroy their shops.  The police did not respond them rather continued to destroy it.  Now their source of livelihood has been lost. They have been improvised ad hopeless. 

Right to life and livelihood is the fundamental right of the   citizen under Indian constitution. The State Govt. is duty-bound to provide employment and ensure livelihood to the people. While hearing a petition of Maharashtra Ekta Hawkers Union vs Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation, the Supreme Court had given direction on dated 9.9.13 to all State Government and Central Government not to evict Street Vendors without ensuring alternate livelihood to them.  Keeping it in view, the Central Government enacted the Street Vendors’ Protection of Livelihood & Regulation of Street Vending Act, 2014 to protect the interest of the vendors.  As per section 3 of the said Act, the State Government is required to arrange alternate livelihood prior to evict the vendors or destroying vending zone. But here the State Government has destroyed the vending zone by violating   the direction of Supreme Court and   the Central Act.   

In this Context, I request the Commission to make an inquiry into the matter and issue the following direction to the State Govt. in order to ensure livelihood of vendors and their effective rehabilitation.

A.   Issue direction to State Government to make an enquiry into arbitrary and illegal act of the police and officials of BMC to destroy vending Zone and take action against the officials responsible for it.
B.   Issue direction to the State Govt. to immediately provide them alternate vending zone or source of livelihood or rehabilitate them  in same place.
C.   Issue direction to the State Govt.   not to evict the vendors  further  without ensuring  alternate  livelihood as per direction of the Supreme Court.
D.   Direct the State Government to provide compensation of Rs. 2 lakh each  to all 67 woman vendors  for the loss  due to destruction of their  vending zone which was only source of livelihood.
E.    Issue direction, as the commission deems fit to ensure complete  livelihood  to all the woman vendors.

Thanking you
Yours sincerely

Pradip Pradhan, M-99378-43482 

(Original post to NHRC contains all news clippings)

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