United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Empowerment of street vendors through capacity building and training under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission to make Chandigarh city a model street-vending hub


    Street vendors play a vital role in the urban economy through provision of self-employment to millions of people. Street vending provides inexpensive and convenient access to daily need items to people. Still, challenges like poor literacy and skills, limited access to formal credit constrains street vendors’ ability to access emerging market opportunities, making them vulnerable to economic catastrophies. In consonance with Government of India’s endeavor under National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) Chandigarh through training and skill development, a multi-stakeholder intervention package was designed by the applicants to empower and educate street vendors.


    The practice seeks to improve knowledge, awareness and skills of street vendors. The intervention package focusses on personal hygiene, women and child welfare. It is imparted along with various social security schemes to sensitize the street vendors about their rights. In addition, free health checkups and general health awareness are provided along with referral services for street vendors and their families. These objectives are in line with Sustainable Development Goals on health, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth of marginal section of society and innovation and infrastructure. It also gels with an idea to promote sustainable cities and communities. This is a multi-stakeholder initiative aiming to foster civil society level partnerships for making Chandigarh as a model street-vending hub.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    SDG Goals are sought to be fulfilled by improving the overall health of street vendors and residents of Chandigarh through linkage with national campaigns like Swacchh Bharat Mission and National Digital Health Mission. Female street vendors are educated about their rights and various social security schemes to empower them. Three prototype smart food carts were developed, with modern features like solar panel, fire extinguisher, etc. This multi-stakeholder initiative aims to establish a safe street vending hub in Chandigarh to promote it as a smart city.

    Implementation methodologies

    The project is a collaborative initiative of Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh and Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh. It is being funded by DAY-NULM, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh. The project aims at empowering and educating vendors through workshops for capacity building and training. The training package involves partnerships between various government institutes, non-government organizations and private institutions of the city. It includes members of Town Vending Cell, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh officials, Social Development Agencies, Child and Women Welfare Agencies, officers from financial institutions, faculty from food safety, nutrition science and hotel management institutes, Medical and Public health experts and theatre artists. Regular meetings and discussions are held between these stakeholders to discuss project activities and progress. The vendors are contacted individually to invite them for the trainings. They are trained through presentations, role plays, skits, demonstrations, lectures and quiz sessions. In phase one of the project; 20 sessions were conducted and 600 food vendors were trained. The effectiveness of the trainings was evaluated using a pre and post-test questionnaire. A food safety kit was provided to the food vendors to put their learning into practice. The phase two of the project focuses on all the street vendors and aims at training 3000 vendors by conducting 100 workshops.


    The trainings ushered in and reflected a paradigm shift in the approach of stakeholders towards welfare of street vendors. The focus of authorities shifted from penalizing and challaning to registration and licensing of vendors, endorsing trainings for them, supporting vendors through formation of Self Help Groups, skill development and financial assistance. A total of 600 vendors have been trained. The overall scores showed a significant improvement in their knowledge on food safety and personal hygiene. Free medical checkups of these vendors were also conducted. Three modern food smart carts were designed under this practice. These carts were designed after taking vendors' requirement in consideration. They were designed as per the safety guidelines for food carts of FSSAI and FSSR. Socio-economic profiling of registered street vendors was done. A loan of Rs 10,000 ($137.24) was also disbursed under PM Svandhi Scheme (Self reliant scheme)to approx 1500 vendors as of now.

    Factors and Constraints

    The initiative taken by Development Cell, Municipal Corporation through which a partnership was fostered with Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). Trainings for vendors were planned under this initiative. Primary enabling factor is sustained funding for these trainings. The official endorsement of trainings increases their credibility. The recognition and increase in reliability of the street vendors after attending the training is also an advantage. The incentive given to street vendors to attend trainings also attracts them. The constraints included reluctance to attend trainings and low level of education of these vendors

    Sustainability and replicability

    The practice has been formalized by signing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the partner institutes. The amendments, progress and achievements of the practice are discussed and passed in Town Vending Committee meetings of Municipal Corporation. These official proceedings increase the credibility and sustainability of the practice. The funds for trainings are provided from the taxes collected by Municipal Corporation from street vendors and citizens. These funds are in turn being used for the welfare of street vendors and the citizens in long run. This is an exemplary exhibition of circular economy. The practice has been extended with a larger mandate after completion of its first phase. The package is easily replicable in all other cities as the framework and Standard Operating Procedures are developed, tested and maintained. This practice has already been replicated on a larger scale under National Urban Livelihood Mission Punjab, a neighboring state of Chandigarh.

    COVID-19 Impact

    During COVID-19, street vendors struggled to secure their livelihood due to nation wide lockdown. They had no other source of income. Most of the vendors are migrants which made them more vulnerable during this period. Street Vending Cell of Chandigarh supported vendors by giving COVID-19 special passes and ID cards for ensuring doorstep delivery of essential civil supplies including fruits and vegetables to citizens there by making them an opportun to earn. They were trained regarding social distancing, hand hygiene, etc. A special hygiene kit containing PPE kits, face masks, hand sanitizers, caps, aprons and gloves were distributed free of cost to them. A call center was also established for tele-consultation and answering the queries regarding the vendors passes. They were also provided immune busters, ready to eat oats, juices and sanitary napkins during this period by the civil society organization engaged by Municipal Corporation Chandigarh.

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    05 March 2019 (start date)
    10 January 2022 (date of completion)
    Contact Information

    KAMAL KISHOR/Vivek, Empowerment of street vendors through capacity building and training under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission to make Chandigarh city a model street-vending hub