Beginning as a Network in 1998, The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) was registered in 2003 under the Societies registration Act of 1860 to bring together the street vendor organizations in India so as to collectively struggle for macro-level changes which had become imminent to support the livelihood of around 10 million vendors which stand severely threatened due to outdated laws and changing policies, practices and attitudes of the powers that be.NASVI is a national federation of street vendor organizations. Itis a coalition of Trade Unions, Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Non Government Organizations (NGOs) and professionals.
NASVI was registered in November, 2003 under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.The reasons for registering NASVI under the Society Act was mainly a) Many constituents of NASVI are trade unions, which already affiliated to existing trade union federations, so they felt threatened that affiliation with another trade union federation might create problems. b) NASVI did not want to compete nor even convey the message of competing with any trade union federations. c) Under the Societies Registration Act, members could participate in General Body get elected to positions and democratic norms could be promoted and also participation of the members could be ensured.
Since its formation, NASVI is committed to struggle for creating a supportive environment for the street vendors to carry out their legitimate vending. All the initiatives of NASVI are focused to secure the livelihood of street vendors through policy interventions, changes in political- legal environment, dialogues with policy makers, administrators and planners, organizing state-level, national and international conferences, organizing struggles/processions/demonstrations/dharnas, supporting in crisis, providing legal aids, capacity building of street vendor organizations, financial services, collecting and disseminating information about issues concerning street vendors, sensitizing society about the issues of street vendors and so on.
The membership of NASVI is open to Trade Unions (TUs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Non Government Organizations (NGOs) and professionals like Lawyers, Teachers, Doctors, Social activists who have been working for the empowerment and development of the street vendors. In terms of recognition among street vendors, the membership of NASVI is increasing day by day. Presently, NASVI has 2, 92,452 members from 373 organizations in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh West Bengal, Punjab, and Meghalaya.