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Jan 27, 2019 | Social Issues

Thoughts: Street Hawkers Deserve The Best Too

By Catherine Forson Agbo
Thoughts: Street Hawkers Deserve The Best Too

Today, businesses around the world are in dire need of sales representative who will help advertise and pitch the goods and services of their company to their target audience. However, it is surprising to recognize that, Street Hawkers though the last group of people to consider, they are the best sales representative a business could ever manage. What makes them different from everyone else? Is it their level of Education? Is it their formal representation? Or probably their rank on the class level? Is there hope for street hawkers in the future?

Street Hawkers are one of Ghana’s most common group of people found on the streets of Accra and other parts of the country. They include the men, women, and children who have traveled from far and near to the streets of Accra to have a fresh start.

They gag the streets with various items including a sachet of water, bottled drinks, plantain chips, recharge cards, pies, and many others. Some incapacitated hawkers are found begging for alms in order to eat. It is sometimes dispiriting to see young children on the streets of Accra selling sachet of water while their mates are in school. These kids are barred from going to school due to the inability of their parent to enroll them in school instead they are faced with the burden of assisting their parents to make ends meet.

After a hard day’s work, they are left paltry to the harsh circumstances of the night. Between the hours of 10 pm to 4 am, these hawkers are found sleeping on the street. Here, they say a pray for a sound night without the rain or rapists who terrify them throughout the night.

Some young girls who sleep on the sideways are beaten callously and raped and this act sometimes results in teenage pregnancies. In a situation where they do have medical healthcare, some girls die as a result of unsafe abortions. Those who keep their babies suffer a worse fate as they have to provide for the needs of their children. These young helpless mothers would then be forced to settle for prostitution in order to get something little for their babies.

Some children out of frustration and hate for the world in which they grew would turn to pickpocket and arm robbery, hence, promoting social vices in the society. These children have no emotions for anyone as they feel crestfallen, and neglected by the very country that swore to protect them.

This is a wake-up call for this deserted souls, therefore, they need all the help they can get to survive this. It is high time the World Health Organization (WHO), Africa Union (AU), International Monetary Funds, Human Right NGO and activists, parliament, media houses, society philanthropists and other institutions to come together to set down policies that will help these people. Street Hawkers are not only found in Ghana but also stretches out to other African countries as poverty levels are on the increase.

The establishment of vocational training centers can be a way to start as young hawkers will be stirred to learn a trade in a more local but professional way. Vocational training can be organized at a very minimum fee or possibly free to encourage these young people to start up their own businesses without necessarily feeding on the street. This will aid in training young people to become creative and productive in the nation.

Adult education can be reinvigorated to help young people learn how to read and write. This will help them to freely pitch their businesses (tailoring, fashion designing, singing or others) to their target audience.

The progress of Ghana as a nation is a shared responsibility, therefore let imperative that we come together to build a nation worth living in.

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