Thinking global, living local: Voices in a globalized world

The lives of street vendors – not so picture perfect

Written by on . Published in Work in the developing world on .

The series of photos below was taken to show the working conditions of more than 50 percent of the Pakistani population.

An estimated 36 percent of Pakistanis live below the poverty line and almost half of them are illiterate. Poorer households typically spend over 60 percent of their income on food. As the world faces serious economic crises, the illiterate are failing to get any kind of job. One of the results of this can be seen in the variety of small businesses that have sprung up on the streets of Pakistan run by illiterate people trying to survive in the economically tough times of the 21st century. They earn as little as a dollar per day which at least saves them from “sleeping hungry at night.” The businesses shown here in the photographs include cooking and selling food items, driving public transport vehicles, working as mechanics, and designing number plates for vehicles. Food-related businesses are a major source of deadly diseases as most of the food sold on the roadside has no proper protection from pollution, dust, and germ-carrying airborne insects like flies.


The video below documents a young man who runs a road corner juice shop and earns around Rs. 200 (2.5 US$) per day. The daily expenses of his family are far more than his earnings.

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Shahzeb Younis Twitter: shahzebyounasShahzeb

A business student, an amateur photographer & videomaker, and a Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program Alumnus. I love to show my opinions through pictures rather than writing them in blogs. Travelling and getting to know new people is the latest thing in my bucket list. Vintage stuff is the new awesome.