JMC students design eco-friendly carts for street vendors

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Ten undergraduate students of Delhi University's Jesus & Mary College have taken upon themselves the task of making business easier for Delhi's street vendors.

Following a survey on street vendors in the city that highlighted the problems faced by them, second- and third-year Economics (Honours) students have designed an "eco-friendly mobile cart". The new cart incorporates facilities of dismantling, display, security, storage and garbage disposal.

According to one of the faculty advisors on the project, the cart was designed keeping in mind the convenience of street vendors. "It provides a better display of products and ensures their safety. The cart has also been designed to make it easier for the street vendors to move around with it," Rajni Singh, an Economics teacher at JMC, said.

The students are also planning to install a solar panel on top of the cart. "We are looking at adding more features like adjustable height and solar panel," said Bhavya Arora, a student associated with the project.

Titled "Street vendors: Service Providers or Traffic Hazards", the project is among the 113 innovation projects sanctioned by Delhi University in 2012. A survey of 10 markets in the capital involving around 1,200 street vendors was conducted as part of the project.

The students working on the project have also come up with a "revenue-generating co-operative model" for street vendors. Moreover, they have suggested a "vendor guide", which will contain information on the regulations and rules pertaining to them.

"The aim of the project was to study the impact of street vendors. Information regarding their socio-economic background was collected. It was found that getting loans is one of the primary problems faced by them. The students are working on a co-operative model, which will make it easier for vendors to get loans. Further, their bargaining power will increase if they form a collective. Also, the co-operative can also provide creche facilities," Singh said.

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