Street vendors constitute an integral and legitimate part of the trade and distribution system for the daily necessities of the public. As per a research study done by WEIGO, they represent 4% of the urban workforce across India. They work in an unprotected environment and usually are the first point of contact in the supply chain for end consumers; this puts them and their customers at high risk. During the pandemic like COVID-19, it becomes crucial to provide appropriate training to vendors on safety and hygiene.
Dettol BSI, the flagship health and hygiene programme by Reckitt Benckiser, announced a CSR partnership with National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI). The programme will support street vendors in India and create a healthy and hygienic environment for them.
The nationwide partnership aims to provide training and access to hygiene products like Dettol soaps and masks to ensure better health and hygiene practices. Simultaneously it aims to help them emerge from the languishing financial condition by instilling public confidence in street vending.
With India re-opening after the lockdown and society still marred by the sudden peaks of cases, the programme is of paramount importance. Addressing the situation this CSR programme is designed to prepare street vendors to be safe and serve their consumers safely and hygienically. The first phase of the programme has successfully equipped, street vendors, on correct hygienic street vending protocols in the most impacted communities across Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru & Surat.
Gaurav Jain, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Reckitt Benckiser Health said, “The unprecedented pandemic has changed the way we live, eat, behave and socialize in our everyday lives. For the street vendors community in India, this is a bigger challenge than we realize. The misinformation coupled with panic had created a sense of fear that was stopping street vendors from getting back to work. With this programme, our ambition is to create awareness and open a safer path to survival for them in the post-pandemic world. Partnering with National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) was crucial to building back the confidence amongst street vendors. By providing hygiene essentials to help fight the spread of Covid-19 and demonstrating the ease with which they can tackle the pandemic helped thousands of them to get back to work stronger and safer than ever before.”
Arbind Singh, National Coordinator, NASVI said, “The fight against COVID-19 is only possible through a collaborative approach. We are grateful to have partnered with India’s most trusted hygiene brand, Dettol, to support the street vendor community in India. Preparing them to successfully function in the new normal equipped with the right knowledge and the means to protect themselves as well as avoid spreading the virus, is crucial.”
The partnership programme has also trained staff and volunteers visiting the field with instructions regarding correct preventive measures for themselves. Additionally, to assist them with essentials, Dettol BSI Banega Swasth India distributed 5,00,000 soap bars & 2,00,000 face masks to the street vendors with on-ground support from Jagran Pehel and NASVI.
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