Tuesday, July 26, 2011

“Khullamanch at the Glance”

Employment is back on the international development agenda. The question of more and better jobs for the poor in developing countries was intensively debated. Informal sector is most often the only asset of the Kathmandu’s   poor and a growth process that does not create more and better jobs might fail to reduce poverty for a large share of people, so that in developing countries, some of the potential working population earns their living in the informal sector.
There are many types of work in the informal sector; among them one is street vending. Majority of the vendors' income is not able to handle overall family expenditure. They would define this economy or sector in other words: not in what it is not, but what it is: the only way to earn a living for people who are self-employed outside the formal economy and not on anyone's payroll. Most of them don't live and work in this sector because it is their wish or choice, but because they have no chance to be hired by an employer from the formal sector. Streets are more vulnerable place in terms of traffic and environment. It lacks basic service like protection from rain, sun, dust, services like water, toilet. It is prone to noise, air and land pollution.
Although there are a lot of street vendors all over Nepal, we can take street vendors of Khullamanch as an example. From one report of Centre for Integrated Urban Development (CIUD) in collaboration of Action Aid Nepal (AAIN) 2010 it shows that there are more than 700 stalls around Khullamanch and they are not new for the city because they have evicted from the different cities before three years. As the eviction is the major problem of street vendors now they knew one can do nothing to get their rights. So, now they know the importance of being organized. Through the report of CIUD shows that 50% of the vendors are involved in some right based organization of vendors. Mostly it is reported that the vendors of Khullamanch are involved in Sorojgar Bapyar Samaj, Shramik Sangathan, GFONT, Trade Union, Mahila Samaj and Maoist Union.
The informal sector plays an important and controversial role in our society. Among this informal job in present context, in Kathmandu the street vending job is more popular in migrant people. It provides jobs and reduces unemployment and underemployment, but in many cases the jobs are low-paid and the job security is poor. At the present context of Kathmandu there is large magnitude of workforce getting their livelihood from the informal sector.  But because of unmanaged street problem the beauty of the city is declining day by day while street vendors are using the places without taxes and rent, which itself counts as controversial.  Broadly, the informal sector provides income-earning opportunities for a larger number of workers as well it can be said that it is contributing towards the nation and society as well.
On the top of that the contribution of street vendors in urban economy is positive so that in this situation, comparing to other places of Kathmandu, Khullamanch appears a more favorable place that probably related to its characteristics and the role of NGO related to street vendors to provide advocacy to the vendors and the Government has to play a role of facilitator and promoter so that the workers employed in the informal sector are able to get requisite level of protection and security to have decent work environment enabling them to utilize their skills fully and according to their capabilities necessary for enhancing the competitiveness of their outputs and thereby raising their income and socio-economic status.

No comments:

Post a Comment