By Arré Bench Dec. 09, 2020
Protesting farmers continue to remain camped in Delhi despite the approaching winter cold. In support of the farmers’ struggle, individuals and organisations have come forward to provide what assistance they can.
Farmers from across the country, mainly the states of Punjab and Haryana, have been staging a protest in Delhi for two weeks now. It’s a response to the central government’s controversial new farm law reforms, which they say will provide an unfair advantage to large corporations. The farmers have been resolute in their demand that the government repeal the three laws, and have remained camped outdoors despite the worsening cold. In support of the farmers’ struggle, individuals and organisations have come forward to provide what assistance they can.
Residents of Delhi-NCR have been lending a helping hand since the farmers arrived on their march. Over the weekend, the young and the old alike joined the farmers camped in the neighbourhood, serving them snacks and lunch at the Ghazipur protest site. “We have come here to support the farmers who are actually our anna daata,” Gurushran Singh, a resident of Laxmi Nagar in east Delhi, told The Hindu. Besides tea and biscuits, locals have also been distributing masks and hand sanitizers to the protestors.
A newlywed couple from Punjab also pitched in to gather donations for the farmers. At their wedding venue, instead of gifts or shagun, guests were asked to contribute to a special donation box that would be used to purchase food, warm clothes, and other essentials for the protesting farmers.
— NDTV (@ndtv) December 8, 2020
Meanwhile, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana supported the protesting farmers by sending 1,000 blankets and dry ration to farmers camping at the Singhu border. Urging the Centre to withdraw the laws, the Bar Council wrote a letter to the Chairman of the Bar Council of India to support the farmers’ call for a Bharat Bandh on December 8.
Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana supports Bharat Bandh on 8th December 2020 and requests all lawyers to abstain from work.#8_December_Bharat_band #BharatBandh #SupportFarmersProtest pic.twitter.com/m8vJUqmzFV
— 𝕊ℍ𝔸𝔸ℕ𝕋𝔸ℕ𝕌 𝕊𝕀ℕ𝔾ℍ (@shaantanusiingh) December 7, 2020
Khalsa Aid, an international NGO, set up temporary shelters and makeshift kitchens at multiple protest sites for the farmers. From serving free langar to providing menstrual hygiene products to women farmers and installing portable toilets, the NGO has made great efforts to support the farmers at the site of their protests.
A message from the women farmers protesting at Delhi borders.
Menstrual hygiene was one issue the women were facing at the protest site.
Khalsa Aid installed portable washrooms for men and women respectively. The team also has sanitary napkins in stock for the women in need pic.twitter.com/4J4zfEdZxk
— Khalsa Aid India (@khalsaaid_india) December 2, 2020
Many Punjabi celebrities have also pitched in, using their spotlight to bring attention to the farmers’ voices. While the list is long (certainly longer than any list of Bollywood celebrities speaking up for a social cause), at the forefront is rapper and actor Diljit Dosanjh. He has been actively voicing his support towards the farmers on social platforms, and also donated ₹ one crore to purchase warm clothes for the protestors.
What a heartwarming gesture by @diljitdosanjh
He has proved that he is the true son of soil https://t.co/jR6toCWzP8
— Parminder Singh Brar (@PSBrarOfficial) December 6, 2020
Those who could not show their solidarity with the farmers’ cause on the ground did so in any other manner they could. Over 120 online petitions asking for the repeal of the farm laws have been shared on the internet. Most of these petitions have been addressed to either Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
Even as Twitter and Facebook were abuzz with solidarity messages, as many as 120 digital petitions asking for the repeal of the laws have been going strong.
Over 3,00,000 people have signed such petitions, reflecting a tide of support. https://t.co/CrrxPb8tan
— The Wire (@thewire_in) December 9, 2020
As the protest continues in the capital, greater numbers of citizens are finding ways to stand with India’s farmers.