Eviction of hawkers

Dhaka,  Sun,  24 September 2017
Published : 17 Aug 2017, 21:01:36

Eviction of hawkers

RECENTLY, both the city corporations (Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation) launched an eviction drive to remove the hawkers from pavements. The drive was necessary considering the problems facing pedestrians. But if we have a close look at the hawkers, we have every reason to be sympathetic towards the hawkers. These hawkers are floating people. They come from villages and live in slums in the city. 

We are not against hawker-free and clean Dhaka. But my concern is that if the hawkers are evicted where will they go? Will they go back to their villages? Will they leave their slums? They will do neither. If they lose their right to work, they would involve themselves in various crimes for their survival and ultimately turn out to be habitual criminals. As a result, the law and order situation of the city will deteriorate. Our constitution ensures the right of basic necessities for all which is also applicable for the rootless hawkers. 

We should not forget that they are also part of our society. If the government wants to reduce the number of hawkers, it should be done gradually and not hastily. Steps should be taken to rehabilitate them. The government should take a long term strategy for the purpose of rehabilitation of the hawkers. Hawkers should be given separate and specific places in the city for their business. Some initiatives that have been taken recently by the authorities concerned deserve to be appreciated, for instance, 'Holiday market in Motijeel'. 

I think the possible solution of unemployment in rural areas lies in setting up agro-based industries in villages. We know that Bangladesh has huge potential in this direction. This helpless people should get policy support and financial help from the government. Initiatives from the private sector are also necessary to supplement the government efforts. Otherwise, pavements may be clean but city will be polluted.

 Md. Razu

Student of Law

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University



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