The launch of www.livelihoodfreedom.in as part of the Law, Liberty and Livelihood Campaign of Centre for Public Policy Research in partnership with Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi was organized at Patrakar Bhavan, Pune on 22 December 2008. Dr, Parth J Shah, Chairman, CCS and Mr Ranjit Gadgil, Program Director, Navjivan were present on the occasion.
The website and the campaign were introduced by Dr. Parth J Shah to the audience. Speaking at the release of the study at the Patrakar Bhavan here, Parth Shah, president, CCS, said, “While we were conducting the research , we found that therich were getting richer and the poor, poorer, particularly in the informal sector. The rules drafted for the informal sector have become outdated and need to be reconstructed keeping in view the current scenario”.
He also said that the aim is to make the government implement the laws which will help the people in this sector to lead a peaceful life. He opined that in many north Indian cities, the laws that are applicable to big shop owners are imposed upon hawkers and vegetable vendors and dhaba operators.” He emphasized the fact that once a situation is challenged, solutions will emerge.
Mr Ranjit Gadgil who also spoke on various issues concerning livelihood said that the bulk of our economy rests on the shoulders of the informal sector and is a sector that helps in keeping the cost of goods low and we need to ensure that it works well.
Release of the Livelihood Regulations Report in Cochin
The Livelihood report of Cochin city ,the findings of the Law Liberty and Livelihood project was released in Cochin at Ashirbhavan by Deputy Mayor Shri C K Manisankar on 29 December 2008. Shri Zakir Hussain, President, Kalamaserry Autorickshaw Drivers Cooperative Society and Shri Gregory Placid, Director, SAHAYI- Centre for Collective Action and Learning graced the occasion with their presence.
The project was introduced by Shri. D Dhanuraj, Chairman, Centre for Public Policy Research who took the gathering through the various findings in Cochin related to the licensing procedures, taxes and other fees collected under various laws and policies. He posed certain questions and shared some of his thoughts regarding livelihood issues. He said that the people in th informal sector are huge in number and are strugling to make a living on a daily basis and there have to be laws conducive to their cause keeping the rights of the larger public in mind.
The Deputy Mayor also shared his comments on the occasion.According to him there are no separate acts for these regulations which are under the Muncipality Acts and many of the laws are brought by the state or central governments.He said that the muncipalities and local self government bodies need to be given enough power to take necessary and speedy action as per changing situations and times. Having laws and regulations are not enough, but these should be updated according to the dynamic needs of cities like Cochin.
Shri Gregory Placid stressed upon the Right to Livelihood for a citizen irrespective of his status in society. He said that the informal sector can be called a part of the service sector and need to be encouraged. He said that if means of employement are denied then there would be a tendency towards anti social and illegal activities. Thus more effective laws and policies should be brought into implementation.
Shri Zakir Hussain emphasised on the role of cooperative society in working for the betterment of the communities employed in the informal sectora in removing the evils. He said that laws should be for the public good and grass root level workers cannot be ignored in the course of development.HE also said that there is a need to change certain laws regarding issuing of license particularly for autorickshaw drivers.