As a form of business requiring less initial investment and skills, street vending has emerged as a viable option for individuals with limited financial resources. Over time, it has become a preferred choice among the economically disadvantaged. The term “street vending” encompasses a wide array of vendors, ranging from those selling vegetables, fruits, and clothing to daily utensils. Operating in densely populated regions and offering affordable goods, street vending has become a popular choice, especially for those seeking economical shopping options.

Although there is a clear legal framework for street vending, its actual implementation is viewed with scepticism. There exists a discrepancy between the regulations and on-the-ground interventions pertaining to street vending and what is documented, even in states like Kerala that have instituted such rules and schemes. There is less literacy among street vendors about what is actually happening around them. This highlights the need for in-depth research to evaluate the efficacy of legislative measures and comprehend how street vending really operates outside the purview of policy papers.

This case study of street vendors in Kottayam municipality, by CPPR’s Urban Fellows Jesbin Benny and Mohammed Unais AV, aims to provide insights into their livelihoods, income, and the impact of municipal policies and regulations on their well-being. By understanding these factors, the research seeks to formulate recommendations and policy suggestions to improve the socio-economic status of street vendors in Kottayam Municipality, ultimately contributing to more inclusive and sustainable urban development.

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