Integration of Hawkers by the ALM of Little Gibbs Road – A Case Study

 

Hawkers exist in an area because they cater to a great extent to the immediate neighbourhood. In a country like ours and especially in a city like Mumbai, where thousands are seeking their livelihood on the streets, one cannot wish a problem away.

A solution needs to be arrived at with and around the hawkers and the citizens with the BMC. So, the ‘Hawkers Rehabilitation’ pilot project,which was conceived and implemented in the year 2000, was further consolidated by the representatives of the ALM of Little Gibbs Roads – 1, 2 & 3 in consultation with the BMC D-ward office and the then Additional Municipal Commission Mr Gautam Chatterjee in 2003.

 

The Area 

The Hanging Garden and the adjoining Kamla Nehru Park are among the most prominent tourist spots in Mumbai. It is distressful that such a well visited spot should be in such shameful disarray! On Little Gibbs Roads – 1, 2 & 3, opposite Cathedral Infant school, the entire corner of the footpath and a small corner opposite WIAA club exit gate, has been taken up by hawkers for a long time.

It is to be noted, these hawkers cater to Breakfast, Lunch, Early Dinner not to mention Tea time, to the neighbourhood drivers, the police personnel of Malabar Hill Police Station and neighbourhood workers. As a matter of record should these caterers not be here, there is no place anywhere around as an eatery.

 

Solution & Implementation

Keeping the two above situations in focus and remembering the message of ‘Clean and Green Mumbai’ should filter to all strata of society, the representative of the ALM of Little Gibbs roads – 1, 2 & 3, set out to educate the hawkers of Little Gibbs roads – 1, 2 & 3. The purpose of this exercise was not only to bring about awareness in this section but also to use the hawkers for spreading the awareness and concept of responsibility to others like them in the neighbourhood areas.

The willingness of the hawkers to better themselves, to keep their areas clean, and to be part of activities of the areas was indeed very heartening. Four leaders of the hawkers were officially recognized by the ALM and give ‘ALM Helper’ ID Cards. The card holders pledged and in practice carry out segregation of waste. Clear their area and act as traffic wardens (During school hours) to manage the school cars in this residential area.

The success of this area led to the idea of regulating the numerous hawkers around the Hanging Garden, which earlier not only cause hindrance to traffic, pedestrians and visitors to gardens, but also presented a most filthy picture of the tourist spot.

 

The Pilot Project

1)      Area of ‘Hawkers Corner’ was chosen jointly by 3 parties. The ALM Representatives, the Asst Commissioner of D Ward and the four Hawker Leaders. T he List of the hawkers were collated and a final List was made, (keeping the present records of BMC and the TISS survey and existing hawkers). Sponsors were also approached to help in any way required to which they agreed in spirit.

 

2)      The Hawkers of Hanging Garden and Little Gibbs roads – 1, 2 & 3 have formed a committee of 6 representatives, who  takes the responsibility of the entire ‘Hawkers corner’ viz:

a)      Cleanliness.

b)      The association leaders will ensure that the number of hawkers does not increase in the future.

c)       Law and Order i.e. self discipline.

d)      Fixed amount of money like a tax to be given to BMC – Thereby completely eradicating the ‘Hafta system’.

 

The above is a statement of facts as they exist as of date. 

 

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