The Delhi High Court on Monday sought response from Delhi government on a plea seeking to declare town vending committee (TVC) members as frontline COVID-19 warriors. “Tell your government to look into it", Justice Rekha Palli told the counsel for Delhi government and issued notice on the petition filed by the son of a TVC member who succumbed to the virus in May this year.
The High Court also sought response from North Delhi Municipal Corporation. The petitioner’s father was performing essential services and visiting various sites even during the peak of the second wave of the ongoing pandemic, advocate Kawalpreet Kaur, appearing for the son, told the court.
In the petition which seeks Rs 25 lakh as compensation for his father’s death, the son has informed that his father was a street vendor and member of the TVC of the North Municipal Corporation in Delhi of civil lines. His work included undertaking the process of recognition and registration of street vendors for purposes of their inclusion in various welfare schemes including the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’. As an elected member, the father conducted surveys within the area of its jurisdiction, identified street vendors in the area, ensured their accommodation and issued certificate of vending to an eligible street vendor, the son said in the petition.
The plea said such members of the town vending committees should be declared as frontline COVID19 warriors as they physically conduct surveys of the street vendors and interact with them, which tremendously increases the risk of COVID-19 every day.
The effects of the pandemic are bound to be long term in nature; therefore, to support the street vendors and those belonging to ‘Town Vending Committee’ performing physical task of issuing certificates, interacting with the street vendors on daily basis, it becomes pertinent for the state to consider them as frontline workers.
The petition pointed out that school teachers, MCD employees, police, ASHA workers and auxiliary nurse midwife workers have already been declared as frontline COVID-19 workers. The petition also stated that it is imperative that every member conducting survey is provided with adequate and quality PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), given gloves and priority vaccination. The matter would be heard next on October 4.