Shillong, June 7: Hawkers and street vendors affected by the ongoing lockdown due to Covid-19 took to the street today demanding that the state government allows them to carry out their livelihood activities for the survival of their families.
Hundreds of hawkers and street vendors came out and were seen gathering at the two main commercial hubs – Khyndai Lad and Motphran – seeking permission from the district administration to resume their livelihood activities amid tight security.
Hawking activities in the state capital have been prohibited ever since the lockdown was imposed on May 5, due to the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases.
According to these hawkers and street vendors, the state government should take the responsibility of providing relief in the form of essential commodities to all of them if they are not allowed to carry out their livelihood activities.
In view of this, a meeting was convened by the district administration with the aggrieved section of society at Motphran.
The hawkers also requested the state government to implement the odd/even system in order to allow hawkers and street vendors to start with their businesses.
“If the state government does not grant us permission to resume our livelihood activities, then it should provide us with essential commodities as for the last one month we have not been able to purchase essential commodities due to financial constraints,” said A Kharmuti president of Meghalaya and Greater Shillong Progressive Hawkers and Street Vendors Association (MGSPHSVA).
Kharmuti alleged that some of the members of the association were also evicted by their house owners just because of the fact that they were not able to pay their rent for the last two months due to the total lockdown.
She further revealed that the majority of the hawkers and street vendors do not have ration cards to access the benefits of food grains provided under the NFSA.