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New Delhi, Nov 30 (PTI) A project to upskill street food vendors of east Delhi so as to make them eligible for e-cart licence was launched on Tuesday, the civic body said.

The project is an initiative of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in association with the East Delhi Municipal Corporation.

It was launched by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE); and Ministry of Electronics and IT, the EDMC said in a statement.

The initiative seeks to formalise the unorganised sector and upskill the street food vendors. About 2,500 vendors are to be targeted in its pilot phase, officials said.

It also seeks to find “potential candidates for getting e-cart licences”, and improving the hygiene conditions in food preparation and aesthetics of vending, the EDMC said.

India has lakhs of street food vendors, and they also contribute to the informal economy,  and it highlights the important role played by them in India’s economy, the minister said.

Due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, India is celebrating ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and India’s rich heritage, Chandrasekhar said.

“This is the first time, schemes like SVANidhi and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) training for street food vendors have been introduced, especially after the COVID-19, as retail and street vending segments were hugely impacted,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

“I would also like to highlight that the conduct and well-being of street food vendors define how their respective cities are perceived, therefore, their upskilling is an imperative,” he added.

The initiative will be implemented under the RPL component of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 3.0. The objective of this programme is to provide relevant skills to the street food vendors, leading towards better services for consumers, more opportunities for vendors for revenue generation, awareness on regulations and stipulated rules, in return providing better services to the local bodies, the EDMC said.

East Delhi Mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal, chairman of EDMC’s Standing Committee Beer Singh Panwar, BJP national Spokesperson R P Singh, Secretary, MSDE Rajesh Aggarwal, EDMC Commissioner Vikas Anand, several councillors, among others attended the occasion.

“We thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his vision on empowering India’s workforce with skills. His focus on improving the conditions of street good vendors will surely help them lift their working and living conditions. By upskilling the vendors and providing them with loans to potential candidates for accessing e-cart licenses under this initiative, we will ensure that no vendor is left job less,” Aggarwal said.

The EDMC and the National Skill Devellopment Corporation (NSDC) will provide necessary knowledge and skills to street food vendors through this programme to increase productivity and enhance their livelihood, officials said.

“EDMC-NSDC will ensure that candidates complete the training of 32 hours and spend about eight hours a day on training. Customised monitoring and evaluation enhancements visits, verification of previous skills and eligibility ascertained by an initial screening, e-verification calls, and face detection for attendance will also be performed,” the statement said. PTI KND CK