Kohima: Three years after the Entrepreneurs Associates (EA) initiated the “Uplifting Women Street Vendors” project to build a robust vending workforce in the state, 56 more women vendors have achieved a new feat under the programme.
In 2017, EA, a non-governmental organisation, started this project after its independent research finding showed that street vendors in the state made no savings from the earnings that they made. To encourage women vendors, EA pledged to donate Rs 2,000 to all vendors who achieve their first Rs 10,000 saving.
Inclusive of the first two batches of women street vendors who achieved the feat, a total of 143 women street vendors from Kohima have so far received Rs 2,000 bonus through the EA’s uplifting women street vendors project. Overall, approximately 500 women street vendors across the state achieved the bonus. The EA informed that the bonuses were sponsored by the Capri foundation.
During a felicitation programme held in Kohima on Thursday, Nino Iralu, secretary (judicial) Justice and law department encouraged women street vendors to realise their worth and contribution as they are a vital section of the society.
She praised women street vendors for contributing to the urban economy while providing essential services to the community. Iralu acknowledged the women street vendors for the friendly services and for bringing vibrancy to the town.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, she urged these women street vendors to follow all preventative measures while doing business. She also informed that the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 will gradually be implemented in the state.
Neikule Doulo, adviser EA recalled how the project began with 16 sponsors who donated Rs 2000 for women vendors who achieve the target. The project covers seven districts in the state and over 2000 women street vendors. On Thursday, the third batch comprising of 56 women, were felicitated.
Exhorting the gathering, Doulo said that some of the previous achievers have now purchased land and made considerable savings in three years.
Inclusive of the first two batches of women street vendors who achieved the feat, a total of 143 women street vendors have so far received Rs 2,000 bonus through the EA’s uplifting women street vendors project.
During the programme, the five top savers were also felicitated.
Around 60 street vendors attended the programme on Thursday. The felicitation programme was followed by a training on digital transaction and financial literacy under PM SVANidi.
Doulo informed that women street vendors project covers three types of vendors: regular vendors on the streets and markets, vendors who produce and sell, and those engaged in supplying vegetables.
According to her, transportation is one challenge that all these women vendors face. To ease this problem, she revealed that the EA will be launching a pilot project in about 3-4 weeks time where buses will be allotted to deliver goods to the women street vendors at a fair price. This project is set to begin from Phek to Kohima, and if it becomes successful, it will be extend to Mokokchung and Wokha.
She also revealed that the EA is planning to organize a street vendors summit in April next year to provide a platform for all street vendors to gather and deliberate on their problems and challenges. They also plan to work on policies and plans that can be tabled to the state government for necessary assistance.