Nidan also endeavors for policy specific interventions for urban street vendors with its continuous advocacy campaigns. Strategically any campaign work requires effective networking of related stakeholders to put collective efforts towards common goals. Our efforts to mobilize other concerned organizations on a common platform have resulted into formation of a strong network of numerous organizations. This network advocates for better policies and programs for the informal workers in form of Comprehensive Social Security. Nidan carried vigorous campaign and lobby work for the immediate implementation of national policy on street vendors and now there are strong indications that National Policy on Urban Street Vendors will get enforced soon.
Nidan’s campaign and advocacy work interfaces Govt. representatives, MLAs, Policy makers, administrators, planners, police officials and street vendors with activities like seminars, workshops, dialogues, consultations etc.
Few Pubic Interest Litigation ( PILs ) have also been filed for the protection of rights of street vendors and with our continuous lobbying with MLAs, questions related to rights of street vendors have been raised in the State Assembly. Shramik Mahotsava is being organized to mobilize informal workers at a common platform and strengthen their voice and visibility. Every year thousands of members participate in these Shramik Mahotsava.
It’s only because of collective advocacy work at Phulwarisarif Nagar Panchayat in Patna district that State Govt. canceled Contract system in regard of urban street vendors and later similar a step was taken by the Patna Municipal Corporation. This resulted into severe opposition from contractors’ lobby, using their political nexus and power clout to prevent these democratic steps. Still, ultimately, with people’s strong resolve for change these contractors withdrew their resistance and around 5000 street vendors benefited with this struggle. Similarly, at Mithapur locality in Patna, 287 street vendors were evicted from their vending place due to some construction work. Nidan raised this issue and after a long deliberation with the Patna Municipal Corporation and District Administration, all evicted vendors were rehabilitated at Karbighaiya area. Also, work of issuing Identity card-cum-license for local vendors has been started at Phulwarisharif area in July 2008.
It has been more than 14 years since the Bihar government passed Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 1996, still as per the provisions of this law, Bihar Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board is being still not constituted. Apart from constitution of the Board, Nidan is making all efforts to ensure adequate representation of workers in the board. Nidan envisages that once the Board is formed, Nidan will work with the Department of Labour for awareness generation among the target population about the board and its mandate, ensuring people’s participation in board functioning and organizing enrollment drives. At present Nidan’s advocacy work involves strong liaison with Child Labour Programme (DHAWA DAL), Labour department in the four districts of Bihar (Patna, Vaishali, Samastipur and Katihar).
In the year 2006-07, Nidan established its office set-up and recruited few personnel in Delhi. In the initial phase of Delhi level operations with the migrant workers, issue of street vendors emerged as a major area of concern. Delhi, as any metro city, typically caters to large number of migrant workers who earn their livelihood through street vending employment. Nidan has already started its work for the mobilization of hawkers in order to organize them as an organization. Nidan has coordinated demonstrations on rights of vendors, initiated lobbying with the public representatives and also participated in the legal proceedings in the Supreme Court. In September- October 2007, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi invited applications for issuing license from all the street vendors of Delhi, Nidan’s continuous campaign work in Delhi has played crucial role towards this positive development.