India Art Journal July 26, 27, 28, 29 by Meera Rao
Street vendors are an essential and unofficial part of the economy in India. Most of them just stake out a space on the sidewalk or street corners and set up shop. Just a few streets from our house there is a full scale market on the streets occupying several blocks and parellel streets where the street vendors sell (and make as in the case of the bamboo shop) ladders, baskets, garlands, fruits, vegetables, meat(ready to cook or butcher live a one just for you right there!), furniture, food, wood, cosmetics, statues, pots, clothes, keys - and whatever else you may need :) They hang their wares on the street light poles, and some even live right there with a make shift tent and take over the sidewalk. Some sell their stuff from carts, others display them on cloth or plastic sheets, benches, baskets etc.
By googling I discovered that there is even a National Association of Street Vendors of India! Women vendors are a huge part of this and I read that recently in this city, Mysuru, there`was a Women Street Vendors training program to help them organize for collective bargaining and negotiation with the government at various levels, to strengthen women's social security and livelihood rights.
There is always some festival or other and the ladies all dress themselves in beautiful colorful sarees and jewelry. They perform 'puja' in their homes or in temples. On July 27 there was a festival for the Goddess that was celebrated especially in a grand scale by all.
As seen by the notices around town nailed to the tree trunks by the street side, there are more women coming to the city for work, and homes and hostels that cater to them.