Food ordering platform Swiggy on Thursday announced the expansion of its street food vendors program to 125 cities under the Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNibhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme.
In the first phase, the company will onboard 36,000 street food vendors to whom the loan has been disbursed in 125 cities on its platform, Swiggy said in a statement.
This follows a pilot that Swiggy initiated with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Chennai, Delhi and Indore, through which it has already onboarded over 300 street vendors on its platform, it added.
At the time of onboarding, all vendors will be registered with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and provided with a Food Safety Training and Certification (FOSTAC) in partnership with FSSAI and their empanelled partners, Swiggy said.
“As a platform committed to bringing the widest choice of food to the doorsteps of consumers safely and hygienically, we’re delighted to bring them their favourite street food which they have been missing for many months now,” Swiggy COO Vivek Sunder said.
Street vendors are integral to the food culture in India and, “we thank the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for giving Swiggy the opportunity to do our bit to help them adapt to the ‘new normal’ and embrace and thrive in the digital economy,” he added.
The company has created a dedicated team to continuously explore and identify iconic, popular, and proven-safe street vendors on the platform, Swiggy said.
On the development, Rajesh Gupta a street vendor who runs Shree Ram Chaat Bhandar in Varanasi said: “As COVID-19 restrictions came into effect, all customers, including those who regularly came to my stall stopped, putting a lot of stress on me”.
“I’m grateful for this new scheme by the government and this initiative by Swiggy that is helping vendors like me use mobile technology for the first time to reach customers,” he added.