Regent street vendor tried selling in NA, Mahdia and Parika without success

by Samantha Alleyne
Stabroek News
December 11, 2000

Over two months after they were ousted from Regent street by the decision of a High Court judge the displaced vendors are expected to be relocated to the Merriman's Mall today.

Stabroek News recently spoke to one of the vendors involved in order to get an insight into what she has been doing since her eviction.

Requesting that her name be withheld, the vendor told this newspaper that after being taken off the street she had joined other vendors in protesting the judge's ruling, hoping that somehow the court would reverse the decision and rule in their favour once again.

But after some time had passed during which the vendor was not receiving any form of income she started looking at ways in which she could ply her trade.

Since vending is the only skill she knows, she sought for an avenue which would allow her to continue to sell.

She thought that the recent New Amsterdam Town Day would have provided just the right opportunity, but she was wrong. The vendor said that she arrived early on the Saturday morning along with a few other vendors, and as soon as they started to set up their stalls the New Amsterdam vendors objected. They continued to display their wares but were soon evicted from the street by the City Constabulary in New Amsterdam and were told to return to Georgetown.

Not daunted by her first failure the vendor then moved to Mahdia. Since she was a woman, the trip was not easy. Not only was it expensive, the vendor said, but the conditions were, "so bad that I wanted to come home right away." The woman said she walked the trail plying her trade but only a few persons purchased items. Although some were willing to patronize her, they had no money and as a consequence she covered her expenses, but made no profit.

Her final attempt at selling outside the capital was the Parika Market, but this also proved an exercise in futility. The vendor said that not only had she to withstand the insults of the local vendors, but she also made no sales.

Now, after three failed attempts in out-of-town locations, the woman said she is desperate because she sees no other way of making a living.

She is willing to move to the mall, she said, but posed the question: "Will consumers come to the mall to purchase from us?"

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