Hawkers in Chandigarh living below poverty line: Survey

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Street vendors here are living below the poverty line and their daily per capita consumption. Reuters Street vendors here are living below the poverty line and their daily per capita consumption. Reuters
SummaryStreet vendors here are living below the poverty line and their daily per capita consumption...

Street vendors here are living below the poverty line and their daily per capita consumption expenditure is less than half a dollar, according to a socio-economic survey.

As per World Bank's norm of daily consumption expenditure of 'Dollar a Day' poverty line, almost all the vendors are living below the poverty line, but were in relatively better condition compared to their native place, the survey revealed.

Sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research under Ministry of HRD, it was conducted by Panjab University Post Doctoral Fellow in Chandigarh Seepana Prakasam who is also Assistant Professor of Economics in Government College for Girls Sector 11 here.

The socio-economic survey was conducted on four street service workers categories -- barbers, cobblers, launderers and bicycle repairers -- in all the administrative divisions of Chandigarh.

In total 200 (50 respondents each from 4 occupational categories) were randomly interviewed in 2013 for the survey, an official released issued here stated.

"Based on poverty gap or severity of destitution, these workers are Severe Destitutes (SD) and Destitutes (D) because their daily per capita consumption expenditure levels are less than half a dollar," it said.

The survey said substantial proportion of them were illiterates and landless workers migrated from UP and Bihar.

Almost all of them are males, and several belong to Scheduled Castes and backward classes.

The dominant age group is 24-35 years and their mean daily earnings at their native place are Rs 14.87, but in Chandigarh the mean net earnings are Rs 137.52.

The survey showed that most of them do not possess bank account, life insurance, house or LPG connection.

"Only 2.5 per cent of workers have access to loans from banks, but the remaining depend on money lenders and landlords and wholesellers charge high rate of interest, from 60 to 150 per cent," it said.

146 of the respondents had mobile phones.

Some of the bicycle repairers are facing job insecurity due to eviction, confiscation and penalties by municipality authorities as they are considered a nuisance and illegal encroachers upon public space, it said.

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