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Designated space for hawkers  


Many are of the opinion that the hawkers need to be given a space of their own where they can do business freely without any fear of eviction as well as without causing any inconvenience to others. One is also mindful of the fact that the people residing at Them Iew Mawlong must be relocated/rehabilitated as the place is not conducive for a healthy and hygienic living, besides, the area has become a cause of inconvenience for passers-by. Thereby, on reading the caption, “Demand for vendors’ market in Sweepers’ Line” in your news daily, I am glad that a possible spot may be taken into considering for hawkers to also station themselves and have a place of their own. On several occasions through this prestigious daily one had expressed the need for the government to provide a space for the hawkers. As of today, hawkers are seen encroaching into footpaths, sidewalks and any open space. The discomfort arises when pedestrians can no longer use the footpaths freely. For example, the entry and exit gates at the Shillong Civil Hospital have a line of hawkers selling foodstuff making it impossible for pedestrians to use the footpath. This is the scenario everywhere. The pedestrians have no choice but to simply squeeze their way either by rubbing shoulders with vehicles or simply tip-toeing on sidewalks and pavements and face the risk of losing their step and falling over. Just as one is supportive of providing a common space for these vendors and hawkers so that they can do business without any kind of disturbance one is also advocating a congestion free and a hassle- free sidewalk and footpaths for pedestrians.

It is gratifying that Thma U Rangli Juki (TUR) and the Meghalaya and Greater Shillong Progressive Hawkers and Street Vendors Association have come up with a suggestion to set up a vendors’ market in Sweeper’s Lane. The HLC and the government must take note of this because the menace of hawkers spreading their wares in just about any available space needs to be solved. This time if the hawkers are provided a market and a space of their own, the roads and footpaths can be free of congestion and can be used by one and all. However, in case the Government decides in favour of the hawkers, then it is also binding on them to chalk out rules and laws that hawkers must set up shop only in the market allocated to them and that in future no hawker would be allowed to set up shop in any open space, footpaths and sidewalks by jeopardising the welfare of pedestrians. Would affirming that the hawkers are not an eyesore but many would agree that they are certainly cause inconvenience to all when they spread their goods everywhere without any qualms and thereby make movement cumbersome for people as well hampering the smooth flow of vehicles.

Yours etc.,

Jenniefar Dkhar,

Via email

World Population Day


World Population Day is observed on July 11 every year. It is about time we acknowledged the fact that population is a resource and not a liability. It is a popular misconception that population has crossed the optimum limit in India and therefore population control is the only way to achieve economic and human development.  To know how densely a country is populated, we must study the figure of population density and not just the number of people. Population density is calculated by dividing the population by the area. 

According to 2011 census, the population density of India is 382 per square kilometre but it is as high as 488 per square kilometre in the Netherlands. Now, if we compare the Human Development Index ranking of these two countries, we will see that India is stuck at the HDI rank of 131st but the Netherlands is at the enviable 7th position. While we have achieved only 74.4 per cent of literacy, the Netherlands has got 99 per cent. There is also big difference in life expectancy between these two countries as India’s life expectancy stands at 64.7 years whereas it is 80.2 in the Netherlands. 

We must remember that population is a human resource so it is an asset and not a liability. As a matter of fact, China’s huge population (1,349,585,838) is one of the reasons for its astounding economic success whereas very thin population makes it difficult for countries like Sierra Leon (5,612,685) to move upwards from its abysmal 179 HDI rank. 

Recently, the government of India has come out with a study that says two-thirds of food to feed 600 million poor Indians is lost. It is lost mainly because hungry millions do not have enough purchasing power to buy the same. Indeed, we have enough food to feed our people. But we fail to adopt labour intensive technology to create an employment bridge that can take the food to hungry mouths. As a result, while astronomical amount of food items are left to rot; 48.2 million children in India are facing hunger, malnutrition and stunted growth. 

Yours etc.,

Sujit De,



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