Singhu: Roti makers, washing machines, free wi-fi ease farmers' road to dissent
Roti makers, washing machines, free wi-fi, mobile charging docks are among the facilities set up by the farmers at Singhu, on the Delhi-Haryana border, to protest against the Central farm laws.

Singhu: Roti makers, washing machines, free wi-fi ease farmers' road to dissent

New Delhi, December 10, 2020

The hundreds of farmers, primarily from Punjab and Haryana, who are protesting at Singhu on Delhi's border against the Centre's new agricultural laws, are fuelling "motivation" with "mechanisation" to make the long haul at the protest sites bearable.

The farmers protesting for the past 15 days at the Delhi-Haryana border have been using technology to the fullest, like roti-making machines which are rolling out thousands of flat breads for farmers sitting under the open sky.

Washing machines come in handy as it has been over a fortnight away from home, many miles covered amid mud and pollution, and sweat. With most of the protesters being the elderly, the provision of a washing machine is welcome to save their energy to carry the fight forward.

Then there are the mobile phone charging docks to ease connectivity with those left behind at home to fight what these farmer agitators believe is an attack on their livelihood.

Already life will be a challenge if the protest does not ease off before the harsh winter arrives in the national capital's borders as they are living in makeshift tents, in their tractor trolleys or small camps.

The "langar" services which are offering food to thousands of people who are staying or visiting the protest site are using the roti makers and massive sized boilers to ease the task of meeting the huge demand for food. The caregivers are also steadfast in their aim to feed the maximum number of people possible.

Gurwinder Singh, who was preparing rotis for the "sangat" told IANS, "We cook around 1,500-2,000 rotis in a day. The langar is open to all and everyone is treated equal as it was by Guru Nanak Dev ji."

The washing machines have arrived from nearby to help the farmers, especially these who are old in age. These machines are operated by generators and batteries of tractor trolleys. "We are helping the farmers so as to ease the living of the farmers who are leading their lives on the road amidst this protest," Jagjeet from Punjab's Fatehgarh said.

Talking to IANS, Prince, who brought two washing machines to help the farmers, said, "Since morning, we have washed over 100s of clothes primarily of the old aged farmers as not only they are large in numbers but it also feels good to help the seniors who are fighting for a better future for their next generation."

Apart from these, free wi-fi services and power points to charge mobile phones are also available at the Singhu protest site, all powered by either tractor batteries, generators and even solar power.

The protest against the newly passed agricultural laws entered its 15th day on Thursday. The crowd swells up with each passing day.

Unhappy over not getting a satisfactory solution to their demands, the agitating farmers have announced blocking the Delhi-Jaipur highway on or before Saturday.

After blocking the Singhu, Tikri connecting Delhi to Haryana, and Chilla and Ghazipur borders to Noida (Uttar Pradesh) and Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) respectively, the farmers will now block the Delhi-Jaipur highway that connects the national capital to Rajasthan.

The move will disrupt Delhi's supply chain from another direction as the farmers have planned to block the National Highway 48 that starts from Delhi and connects with Rajasthan via Haryana.

The decision was taken in the farmers' meeting at Singhu border.

The Delhi Police has been on high alert.

Delhi's Commissioner of Police is keeping a close watch on the law and order situation as the protesting farmers have threatened to enter the national capital.

The protests are against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.

The laws allow farmers to sell their produce at places apart from their designated APMC market.

They also aim at allowing contract farming under which they can enter into supply agreements with private firms for remunerative and pre-decided prices. However, the farmers believe the new farm laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system (MSP), leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

IANS

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