Emerging from the Lockdown: Insights from Women Street Vendors’ Lives in Delhi

17 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2021

See all articles by Shiney Chakraborty

Shiney Chakraborty

Institute of Social Studies Trust

Gayatri Ahuja

Institute of Social Studies Trust

Date Written: January 1, 2021

Abstract

By using a mixed-method approach, the study aims to understand the socio-economic impact of the lockdown and post-lockdown on the lives of women street vendors in Delhi. The results indicated that although restrictions have been eased in the post-lockdown phase, many women street vendors have lost the means to work and witnessed a significant fall in income/ earnings. Despite the loss in employment opportunities, many of them were not able to shift to alternative employment opportunities and continued with the same street-vending activities. The closure of market or vending areas and fear over the spread of COVID-19 have kept many customers away and thereby their income decreased significantly over the past six months. They also suffered an increase in inside household domestic work like cooking, cleaning and child care, in which they were helped mainly by female members of the house, particularly daughters or daughters-in-law. Among the other challenges were procuring essential food items in times of shortages, increased prices and rent payments. Many of them resorted to negative coping strategies such as taking out loans from moneylenders at a high-interest rate, which led them into a debt trap. Almost all the street vendors
replied that the credit facility announced both by the central and state governments to achieve self-reliance is hardly beneficial because they are not in a position to repay the loan unless and until they can restart the business. So, it is highly recommended that the government should convert the credit facility into a direct income benefit as livelihood support. The government should also acknowledge the role played by street vending in alleviating urban poverty and malnutrition and ensure their right to vending with dignity and prevent them from falling prey to large-scale retail
capitalism and penetration of the online market.

Keywords: Women Street Vendors, Impact on Paid Work, Impact on Unpaid Work, Essential Service Access

JEL Classification: J16, J21

Suggested Citation

Chakraborty, Shiney and Ahuja, Gayatri, Emerging from the Lockdown: Insights from Women Street Vendors’ Lives in Delhi (January 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3958289 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3958289

Shiney Chakraborty (Contact Author)

Institute of Social Studies Trust ( email )

U.G. Floor, Core 6A India Habitat Centre
Lodhi Road, New Delhi
New Delhi, DE Delhi 110003
India

Gayatri Ahuja

Institute of Social Studies Trust

U.G. Floor, Core 6A India Habitat Centre
Lodhi Road, New Delhi
New Delhi, DE Delhi 110003
India

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
78
Abstract Views
283
rank
417,657
PlumX Metrics