Empower street vendors to get India’s urban economy moving4 min read 12 Apr 2021, 09:56 PM IST
Government policy attention and public patronage should combine forces to generate millions of roadside jobs in our cities
In 1958, Mao Zedong argued that sparrows consume a lot of grains and ordered their extermination to make more grains available for the Chinese people. With sparrows exterminated, swarms of locusts infested Chinese fields, leading to the starvation death of 30–45 million Chinese citizens. Sparrows are to agricultural produce what street vendors are to urban economies. Most urban planners see street vendors as a nuisance, and they adopt a ‘tolerate, regulate and evict’ approach in dealing with them. Trying to eliminate street vendors, however, is a ‘Maopic’ approach to urban policymaking.
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