Pakistan Institute of Development Economics


Street Vendors in Islamabad – Voice from the Ground

Date : December 10, 2020 at 7:00 PM
Moderator: Dr. Nadeem ul Haq (Vice Chancellor PIDE)
Speaker : Sania Nishtar; Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation, Shahid Mahmood; Member, Planning, Capital Development Authority (CDA), Shafaq Hashmi; Chief Officer, Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), Zia Banday; Senior Fellow, PIDE (Presentation on the findings of Street Vendors’ Survey in Islamabad), Exposure on Ground; Fazal Hayat, Coordinator of Street Vendors’ Survey Team, Voice of the Unheard; Bedar Bakht & Muhammad Sajid, Street Vendors from Karachi Company, Islamabad

Life on streets is not easy. Ask any street vendor on the roads, markets, parks and other public spaces in Islamabad. Given option of a regular job, majority of street vendors will quit their vocation. Unfortunately, these job offerings are not expected to arrive soon. And even, miraculously jobs are created for many, then more from poorer segments will be entering in the public space to fill the vending spots vacated by others. It is an avalanche of humanity that is seeping in through any space for making their livelihood. They work through the system by bribing, cajoling or guiling in their existential struggle. It is easy to bemoan about the congestion, unhygienic and slyness, often attributed to the vendors on the streets, but difficult to wish them away in the fifth most populous low income country.