Street Vendors in the Urban EconomyIndia International Centre Quarterly

Sharit Bhowmik
  • Article Title: Street Vendors in the Urban Economy
  • Title of Journal: India International Centre Quarterly
  • Vol #: 42
  • Issue #: 2

In most Indian cities the urban poor survive by working in the informal economy. 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. Street vendors form the most visible segment of the urban informal economy. One can see them in different parts of the city squatting on pavements selling their wares that would include a wide variety from fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, chicken, utensils, clothes and trinkets. There are also large number food vendors who sell cooked food, snacks, soft drinks etc. To many these people are a nuisance as they encroach on public space and their behaviour and clothes are offensive to the upper classes. To the urban poor however, they are a boon as they make the basic essentials available at cheap prices.

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