How farmers are sustaining themselves during the stir

A month of Delhi protests: How farmers are sustaining themselves during the stir

An informal network of farmers is at work night and day to ensure the protesting farmers never lack essentials

Credit: PTI photo.

Since the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protests started a month ago, thousands of farmers from villages in Punjab and Haryana have been camping on the highway demanding a complete repeal of the Centre’s contentious farm laws as support for their movement pours in from India and abroad.

As six rounds of talks with the government brought about no discernible result, The Hindustan Times reports that protestors have created an informal network among themselves to ensure that farmers can sustain themselves as the protests go on.

Farmers have reportedly kept a part of the highway open to allow for trucks to bring in supply and to court visitors and supporters. Protestors take turns and work on stocking up on essentials by driving to and from their villages to their new dwellings, the Delhi border.

Through this network, farmers ensure that food is stocked, bottled water is made available, winter clothes and firewood are provided, cleanliness is ensured on the highways and morale is always maintained through group activities.

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Lakhwinder Singh, a member of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) told the paper that they follow a system where only one village arranges for supplies for a day and divide responsibilities equally. “We have a team back home and they only have to be told what we need. Following this, they coordinate with villagers and deliver the supplies here the next day.”

Since the farmers arrived at the various border points of Delhi, they have opened up community kitchens, seating areas and built a stage. Some of them sleep in trucks, using clothes to create sleeping compartments, HT reported.

When asked about where the farmers are sourcing their funds, BKU leader Pal Majra told Times Now that everyone in Punjab is contributing, and family members continue to send financial aid.

Some farmers stay back in the villages to work, but they keep updated with the protests in Delhi through the strong social media network of Facebook and WhatsApp groups.

“We want to stay here but someone also has to work back home on the fields of these farmers and ensure they have all that they need here,” Inderjeet Singh Khullar, one of the protestors helping in replenishing stock, told HT.

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Gurwinder Singh, a farmer from Punjab is quoted in a report saying that no work of any farmer has been affected by the agitation as people are helping each other out.

Farmers at the Delhi borders have shown no signs of backing off as they head for another round of talks with the Centre on Tuesday morning.