Demanding the withdrawal of the recent order of Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) where street vendors were advised to sell things on specific timing, various organizations of street vendors jointly staged a sit-in protest at Temporary Ima Market, Khwairamband Ima Keithel, Imphal on Saturday.
The irate protesters also thronged at the residence of MAHUD Minister Yumnam Khemchand requesting to consider the order. The protesters were unhappy with the minister for allegedly not responding to them properly.
Addressing media at the sidelines of the protest, general secretary of Road Side Vender Welfare Association Khwairamband Keithel, Kiranmala Tongbram said that the recent order of IMC issued on December 13 is highly condemnable.
As per the order, they are allowed to sell things in specific timing, i.e., from 6 am to 12 noon. But it is not feasible as they won’t be able to earn much within this timing and may not be able to sell even a single thing, she said and urged the state government to consider the order.
She said the state government had constructed the Temporary Market as a space for street vendors. However, the recent order will make street vendors wander here and there, she added.
“We came out as street vendors to make ends meet. All street vendors are economically backward. Issuing this kind of order, advising us to sell things in specific timing is a kind of torture”, she lamented.
Secretary of Young Women Street Vendors Association, Akham Diana said that to discuss the order, they went to meet MAHUD minister. However, instead of understanding their problem they were chased away, she said and added that the attitude shown by the minister is unfortunate.
The state government should reconsider the order as it hugely affects their livelihood, she added.
The protest was also joined by the Temporary Market Street Vendor Association and Panthoibi Ima Keithel.