Position Papers
Sharit K. Bhowmik
World Bank, Washington DC (USA)
Published in
Submitted by
Peter Midgley, gTKP
Related theme(s)
Urban Mobility
Asia (AS)

Urban Responses to Street Trading: India

In most Indian cities the urban poor survive by working in the informal sector. Poverty and lack of gainful employment in the rural areas and in the smaller towns drive large numbers of people to the cities for work and livelihood. These people generally possess low skills and lack the level of education required for the better paid jobs in the formal sector. Besides, permanent protected jobs in the formal sector are shrinking hence even those having the requisite skills are unable to find proper employment. For these people work in the informal sector are the only means for their survival. This has led to a rapid growth of the informal sector in most of the larger cities. For the urban poor, street
vending is one of the means of earning a livelihood, as it requires minor financial input and the skills involved are low.