Vantage point

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Livelihood Freedom Petition

Critics of Indian Libertarians often say that we are too involved with the macro perspective and the "hep" issues and we are not as vocal as we should about the micro issues that concern the masses. i myself have endorsed this opinion in the past.

One Libertarian body that is going about things the right way, however is the Centre for Civil Society(CCS).

Here is a mail I received from them recently about a Livelihood Freedom Petition. please go through it and extend your support -

Dear Sir/Madam,

Our government has-notwithstanding its noble intentions- failed to deliver where it matters the most.

Consider this example: New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has recently ordered the eviction of encroachers in and around its market area, keeping in mind the 2010 Commonwealth games. The most logical question one would then ask is where would these “illegal encroachers” go once they are beaten and chased out of their livelihood space. Madan Thaplial, PRO of NDMC sums up his government’s attitude to these poor street entrepreneurs: “Let them go anywhere!”

Now comes the latest treat for our street entrepreneurs-this time from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which has decided to shut down the Sunday Book Bazaar in Daryaganj. The fact remains that the government has done nothing significant at all for these entry level professionals. In fact, when they try to improve their lives by utilizing space, it moves in to drive them away-and thereby deny them a human right as basic as their right to work.

Street vendors are amongst the most visible and active parts of India’s large informal economy. Hawkers, for example, sell many goods that are manufactured in small-scale or home-based industries, which employ a large number of workers. They thus do a great service to our economy-and to the government- by helping to sustain employment in these industries while supplying a market for their products and providing a valuable and affordable service to consumers, simultaneously.

Do you think street entrepreneurs too need to be empowered with livelihood freedom? CCS has an electronic signature campaign that champions livelihood freedom. If you believe that street entrepreneurs’ too have the right to work in a just and favourable environment and believe that they deserve the economic freedom to earn their livelihood, then please endorse our petition at this page.

Please don’t stop with just endorsing our campaign. Do send this message further to all your contacts- let the flame of liberty be lit!

A big and hearty thanks to all of you who have already endorsed our petition!