Kaushalya has been selling laces in the Saturday weekly street market in Shadipur, West Delhi, for over 10 years. She is one of the very few women street vendors who make a living by selling various products across weekly markets in Delhi. In Shadipur Shani Bazaar, of the 350 plus street vendors only 10-12 of them are women.
In our multiple conversations with Kaushalya, about her life in and views about the weekly market, she claimed that being a woman is not a disadvantage in the male dominated Bazaar. However, our observations revealed otherwise. Not only was she constantly being told to cover her head in respect by the neighbouring male vendor during our conversations, she also revealed that women vendors in the market had a difficult time accessing basic amenities such as public toilets. The women vendors, in Shani Bazaar, have to either refrain from urinating or go to a resident’s house with whom they have a rapport established. The male vendors, on the other hand, use the public urinal near the bus stop.
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Photo by: Shorbori Purkayastha