After assisting millions of worthy individuals, the government has created the Ehsaas Street Hawkers initiative to assure their socioeconomic elevation.
Under the Mazdoor Ka Ehsaas program, the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA), Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), and the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) are piloting the program in Islamabad in the first phase.
Around 200 vendors in Islamabad have obtained vending licenses from the municipality as well as new eco-friendly carts as part of this effort.
Syed Tahir Sardar, a beneficiary of G-11’s Ehsaas Street Hawkers initiative, said he was pleased that any government listened to the problems of street vendors.
“This is for the first time in the history that any government paid heed to the concerns of the street vendors and took steps to ensure their respectable earning through providing them a proper legal space, license certificate, and new eco-friendly carts,” he said.
Sardar, who repairs watches, stated that this scheme has benefited many other people like him.
“Earlier, we were facing issues due to sitting illegally in the main markets and bearing loss whenever Capital Development Authority (CDA) launched encroachment operations,” he said.
He added that the owners of the shop in front of which they were sitting used to exploit them by increasing rent every now and then. “This program has saved us from all the pressures and helped expand our businesses,” he said.
Another program beneficiary, Zahid Javed, a clothing vendor in the same industry, claimed the Street Hawker initiative has greatly decreased their issues.
“Earlier we were facing difficulty in displaying more and more stuff on the cart but this cart is more convenient to use,” he added.
Speaking about the program, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, stated that it is a “one of its kind” effort for street vendors in Pakistan.
“The marginalized segment of street vendors is an integral part of the local economy, which cannot be wished away in a low-income country like Pakistan,” she said, adding that street vendors have remained an integral part of the urban economy around the world.
She stated that Pakistan is no exception, with hundreds of thousands of street vendors selling their wares in every nook and cranny of the country.
She went on to say that the initiative intends to help them all in stages.
To read our blog on “Govt. Announces Second Phase of Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program,” click here.