Farmers' protest: Who’s feeding protesters at borders?

Farmers' protest: Who’s feeding protesters at the borders?

The sight of tractors, tents, tarpaulins, and turban-clad Sikhs preparing and serving up langar to those present is a familiar one

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee President Manjinder Singh Sirsa serves food at Singhu border during farmers' sit-in protest against the Centre's farm reform laws, in New Delhi. Credit: PTI

The ongoing farmers' protests at various borders outside New Delhi has entered its 25th day and has shown no signs of stopping. Whether you have been to the venue or have seen visuals from the border, the sight of tractors, tents, tarpaulins, and turban-clad Sikhs preparing and serving up langar to those present is a familiar one.

Now, who are these people? Where are they from? The Indian Express answered some of these questions in a report.

1. Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Committee

The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Committee is said to be the largest group that has descended upon the Singhu border outside the national capital. They are usually found right next to the stage and can be seen serving hundreds of people almost throughout the day. They have also provided shelters for men and women, apart from tarpaulins and essential goods like medicines.

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2. Baba Kashmir Singh ji Bhuriwale sect

The Baba Kashmir Singh ji Bhuriwale sect is an ever-present group at the Tikri border on the Rohtak highway and serves week up to thousands every day. They serve tea throughout the day and had earlier made headlines when the Capt. Amarinder Singh administration had praised their efforts to serve langar during the coronavirus induced lockdown. IE added that they have a number of international volunteers, one among them a Canadian high school teacher by the name of Anand Jot Singh.

3. Khalsa Aid

While Khalsa Aid, a renowned Sikh organisation have not been serving food, they have provided a steady supply of essential items such as toothpaste, medicines, undergarments, blankets, and hygiene products. Their night shelters can house up to 350 people, and are equipped with fire extinguishers, and yes, massaging machines. Some volunteers also massage elderly protesters' feet with oil. 

4. Dera Baba Jagtar Singh

Dera Baba Jagtar Singh is a Gurudwara from the town Tarn Taran Sahib in Punjab. They prepare langars on a large scale and have a steady stream of supplies coming in from various branches in Punjab and Haryana. An official mentioned that the villages from where they source the vegetables, wheat, and pulses donate generously in support of farmers. Apart from sacks filled with ingredients, IE's reporters also found a sack full of nail cutters.

5. Jamindara Student Organisation

Jamindari Student Organisation is a largely Delhi-based organisation, which also supposedly has its branches in Haryana, and is the largest langar at the Tikri border. Their supply of milk, wheat, vegetables, and pulses are sourced from rural Haryana. Their tent, which is next to the stage at the Tikri border, doubles up as a night shelter. The individual running the organisation claims that it has close to 25,000 members.

6. Gurudwara Head Darbar Kot Puran

The Gurudwara Head Darbar Kot Puran, based in Ropar, Punjab is among the smaller langars that have been set up across Delhi's borders. The group always has 25 volunteers on standby, and like many others, has procured supplies from nearby villages.

7. International Panthic Dal 

The International Panthic Dal, like Khalsa Aid, does not have langar but has set up medical desks and night shelters that are said to be quite large. They claim to have members across the world in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, and the Middle East.