Street vendors in Bengaluru and in several districts across Karnataka observed a day-long fast on Saturday demanding assistance from the State government.
Though the Union government has announced a loan scheme that will benefit 50 lakh street vendors in the country, vendors here say it is not only insufficient but with no livelihood, they are at a loss on how to repay the loans.
“We haven’t been able to earn a living for over three months, and continue to live in uncertainty. How does the government expect us to repay our loans?” said S. Babu, president, Federation of Bengaluru District Street Vendors’ Associations.
Several street vendors’ associations that participated in Saturday’s fast demanded that the State government immediately give an income assistance of ₹15,000, like it has done for several other self-employed persons like drivers and barbers. They have also sought assistance in school admission for their children.
Street vendors in Mysuru, Mangaluru, Tumakuru, Kolar, Gadag, Ballari and Koppal participated in the protest and held placards that read: ‘Mr. CM give us income assistance, not loans’.