Uncategorized · October 21, 2021

Empowering India’s Street Vendors

Digital India… one street vendor at a time.

Helping street vendors across India to become financially savvy, integrated with the formal economy and digitally poised to earn more. 

While the Covid 19 outbreak impacted all sections of society, economically fragile groups suffered the most. This includes the street vendors across Indian metros, tier 1 & 2 cities. Pandemic-triggered lockdowns, reduced footfalls and overall demand slump devastated their livelihoods, forcing many to struggle even for the basic essentials.  

Covid 19 pandemic led to tectonic shifts in consumer outlook, including their priorities and purchase behaviour. As ‘travelling to work’ became work-from-home, crowded restaurants & malls made way for buying essentials and saving for the unknown.  

All of this was supported by the burgeoning digital marketplace. Paying digitally directly benefitted modern and organised retailers, as they were ready, willing and waiting to book orders online, deliver at home and accept payments through digital modes. 

But what about millions of small and traditionally un-organised street vendors? Let alone accepting digital payments, many did not even have smartphones and bank accounts, leaving them helpless and vulnerable.  

This had to change. 

The Ministry of Housing & Urban affairs – Government of India launched the PM SVANidhi scheme, followed by the ‘SVANidhi se Samriddhi’. Both aimed at the economic revival and re-invigoration of the street vendors across India, educating them to tap into the powerful JAM trinity – Jandhan, Aadhar & Mobile, by giving street vendors end-to-end support on their journey to join the digital world. From opening bank accounts to linking them with Aadhar and mobile numbers, the scheme focused on ushering India’s street vendors into the digital age. 

The project focussed on digital literacy in terms of using smartphones for running their businesses and accepting digital payments, linking their bank accounts with Aadhar and the importance of all of the above.

Project Implementation by Prosperfit: 

Prosperfit team had a detailed discussion with the senior officials of American India Foundation along with decision makers from Street Vendor association of India to understand the project better, approach, and objective. We then created a well laid out plan to create a series of videos in Hindi creating a visual training experience for street vendors. The videos were categorized into various topics, all linked to each other, to hold the attention of the target audience. As many of the videos were on documentation and schemes, the scripts were designed very carefully to make sure that they are not only educative but also engaging in nature. We were also sensitive towards gender neutrality and gave equal focus to woman street vendor in all the videos. The final videos were well received by the American India Foundation and Street vendor association of India. The videos are now being used to conduct online training for street vendors across the country to help them re-establish their lost financial stability.  

About the American India Foundation:  

The American India Foundation is a nonprofit American organization working in India. It is one of the largest American organizations supporting development work in India. AIF is committed to improving the lives of India’s underprivileged, with a special focus on women, children, and youth.