New Delhi: Diwali may be a festival of joy, but not so for the city's street vendors and hawkers, who were told by police on Saturday to shift out of markets three days before the festival of lights. Delhi's trader's associations have demanded new places for them.
West Delhi Traders Association president Robin Sharma said, "Delhi Police is preventing hawkers to put up stalls at markets highlighting security concerns during the festival. But what about their family who survive on daily earnings?" Over five lakh families, or about 50 lakh people, are surviving on the hawking business in the capital, claims Sharma.
Association members led by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) MP Poonam Azad had last week met officials of Delhi Police raising concerns over the hawkers' problems. "Big traders are thankful to Delhi Police, but what will hawkers do?" Azad said. Police officials had said that they would allow hawkers and street vendors in service lanes but to no avail," said Poonam Azad, wife of former cricketer Kirti Azad.