Chandigarh, July 31:- Sh. Banwarilal Purohit, Governor, Punjab and Administrator, UT, Chandigarh said that Street Vendors have been an essential part of country’s economic growth story with linkages with the formal economy and have always played a significant role in reducing cost of living, by providing goods and services at affordable rates. He was addressing the Street Vendors at SVANidhi Mahotsav– a cultural festival for celebrating the success of PM SVANidhi Scheme and SVANidhi Mahotsav, as part of the Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav, at Rani Laxmi Bai Mahila Bhawan, Sector 38, here today.

Smt. Sarbjit Kaur Dhillon, Mayor, Sh. Dharm Pal, IAS, Adviser to the Administrator, Sh. Nitin Kumar Yadav, IAS, Home Secretary, Sh. Vinay Pratap Singh, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Isha Barak, Assistant Director, Ministry of Housing Affairs and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

While addressing the street vendors and other dignitaries, the Governor said that the Municipal Corporation has organised ‘SVANidhi Mahotsav’– a cultural festival for celebrating the success of PM SVANidhi Scheme and the beneficiary street vendors & their families, which is a part of 75 cities across 33 States/UTs of the country. He further said that SVANidhi Mahotsav was a festival for celebrating and recognizing beneficiary street vendor’s growth story and their contribution towards Indian economy. The festival aims to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence with these nano-entrepreneurs, honoring their journey under PM SVANidhi scheme for demonstrating credit discipline, digital behavior and displaying their astute business acumen, he added.

He said that the PM SVANidhi scheme was launched during 2020 to facilitate working capital loans to the street vendors to help them restart their businesses which were adversely impacted due to the lockdowns imposed during COVID-19 pandemic. He further said that this scheme was the first comprehensive effort for financial inclusion of the street vendors. Prior to this Scheme, street vendors were dependent on the informal credit channels paying high rates of interest, he added.

The Governor said that the event was engaged the street vendors & families in the esteemed presence of dignitaries and other stakeholders. He welcomed the street vendors of Chandigarh to be a part of SVANidhi Mahotsav.

He felicitated PM SVANidhi street vendors beneficiaries for digital on boarding and promotion of digital transactions, bank officials for performance under PM SVANidhi, Certificate of Vending to LOR Street Vendors, Parichay Boards to PM SVANidhi beneficiaries and Area Level Federation/city Level Federation and SHGs for their exemplary work under DAY National Urban Livelihood Mission.

Earlier, Smt. Sarbjit Kaur Dhillon, Mayor, Chandigarh welcomed the Chief Guest and other dignitaries to be part of the SVANidhi Mahotsav.

Street Vendors have stalled Food Vending Stalls and SHGs under Social Mobilization and Institutional Development component have showcased their products in an exhibition at Mahila Bhawan. Also, PM SVANidhi, DAY NULM, SBM and Lead Bank PNB with SBI have showcased their work by putting up their respective stalls for extending on the spot services to beneficiaries including DIGISHALA for digital empowerment of street vendors.

The Svanidhi Mahotsav comprised of vibrant cultural and recreational activities planned with the family members of Street Vendors, Self Help Groups (SHGs) and other beneficiaries of DAY NULM including Musical Chair, Antakshari, Street Play and Skits, Regional Dance Performances, Folk Art Performances, Magic Show, Bioscope etc. In addition, few awareness sessions were also organized on Single Use Plastic Bags, Segregation of Waste, Home Composting for Street Vendors and women SHG members.

Also, a session on Street Vendors Bye-laws was also conducted for generating awareness on Do and Don’ts by street vendors by involving TVC members from street vendor’s community.

It was a Zero Waste event, organized by the Municipal Corporation, where no plastic item was used. Cutlery used for refreshment including glass, plates, bottles etc. No plastic flowers were used. The venue was decorated with fresh natural flowers, which were disposed off through composting after the event.