GUWAHATI, April 8 � The indigenous women vendors who come from outside the capital city to sell an assortment of local vegetables to the Guwahatians had been facing numerous hurdles to carry on their trade and one such challenge was finding a safe place to spend the night when they could not make it back home.
Addressing this concern was crucial to the welfare of the indigenous women vendors and so the Society for Social Transformation and Environment Protection, a non-government organisation, came forward with the project of a night shelter for these women vendors. Supported by Oxfam, this night shelter at Ulubari was inaugurated by Dr Amiya Sarma of the Rashtriya Gramin Vikas Nidhi.
The inauguration function was attended by around 56 women street vendors. Members of the Society for Social Transformation and Environment Protection Simanta Bora, Sattar Choudhury and others were also present.
�It was a long-felt need and the women vendors are happy now,� said Shanjit Ali, member of the organisation.
It needs to be mentioned here that these indigenous women vendors come from places, such as Sonapur, Jorabat, Boko, Barpeta Road, etc., to earn their livelihood in the capital city. They sell their local produce at reasonable prices to the city dwellers.
�On certain days, some of the women vendors miss their train or other public modes of transport and then they find it quite troublesome to find a safe shelter. For them it is beyond means to stay in a hotel and often they are harassed or abused,� said Ali mentioning that the night shelter has the capacity to take in 10 women. Complete with the basic infrastructure, this shelter has brought a smile on the faces of the women vendors.
Around 260 women vendors come from outside the capital city twice a week to do business at the Ulubari market. As per a study by the Society for Social Transformation and Environment Protection, a total of around 350 women vendors earn their livelihood in the city.