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Enhancing Livelihoods of Street Food Vendors

enhancing livelihoods of street food vendors

"The training received on food safety and hygiene has instilled a new sense of pride in my work. Through the safe food practices that I have implemented at my food cart, I feel both tourist and locals are more confident about eating at my stall. It has significantly increased my monthly income that allows me to afford a better standard of living for my children. I am happy that I got a chance to step outside my long working-hours and expand my skills as a street food vendor."

Bimal Devi is a 35 year old woman, who moved from a small village to New Delhi few years ago. With no formal education, street food vending provided a convenient means of employment for her and her husband. After the death of her husband, Bimal Devi has been left with the responsibility of raising her four children on a meagre income. She runs a street-food stall at Lakshmi Nagar in Delhi and her eldest 19 year-old son helps her in daily operations.

Offering Safe And Hygienic - Healthier Food 
Nestlé India joined hands with the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) and national and local food authorities to launch Project 'Serve Safe Food' for training street food vendors on subjects including health, hygiene, safe food handling, waste food disposal and entrepreneurship. At these trainings, vendors learn about how to handle food with gloves, handwashing, storage techniques, proper washing of fruits and vegetables, personal hygiene and entrepreneurship. At the end of the course, the vendors receive official certification that they have completed the training. They are also encouraged to share the information with fellow street vendors.

Bimal Devi was introduced to Nestlé India's 'Serve Safe Food' programme where she learned about hygiene, food safety, cart hygiene, garbage disposal, and other critical subjects of street food vending. This was the first formal training that Bimal Devi received and after attending the training she keeps her cart clean, makes sure her hair are tied, nails are cut and hygiene is maintained around her cart.

Enhancing Livelihoods
Bimal Devi expanded her skills and improved her income as she implemented the simple steps to make street food safe. She earned about Rs. 700 a day and shortly after attending the training her income has improved significantly. She displays the certificate at her cart that she received at the end of training and sometimes the customers enquire about the certificate.

With the crowds that Bimal Devi's food is now attracting, she is hoping to open another stall so that more people can enjoy the inexpensive but tasty offerings.

Street Food Vending and Programme Serve Safe Food
Street food vending is an important source of informal employment. It is an integral part of experiencing culinary delight in India and a large number of street food vendors are typically located at the most convenient points for consumers. However, street food vendors face a variety of constraints including lack of knowledge and skills in business, limited training opportunities, and restricted mobility that prevents them from improving their capacities. The project 'Serve Safe Food' in collaboration with NASVI offers training on critical subjects of street food vending. During 2017, programme was implemented across Goa, Rajasthan, U.P., Kerala and Delhi, reaching out to about 4,800 street food vendors who were also awarded a certificate and presented a hygiene kit at the end of the training.