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Food, Water, Footwear And Flowers: The Historic #KisanLongMarch Showed That Humanity Isn't Dead

Photo credits:
Left: @KisanSabha / Twitter,
Right (top): @SudeepSudhakrn / Twitter,
Right (below):
@KisanSabha / Twitter

Photo credits: Left: @KisanSabha / Twitter, Right (top): @SudeepSudhakrn / Twitter, Right (below): @KisanSabha / Twitter

'Those who feed you need you.'

Thousands of protesting farmers have set up camps in Mumbai's Azad Maidan, demanding  complete loan waivers and the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee's recommendations.

The Long March has now turned into an indefinite sit-in Dharna in front of the Manthralaya and will continue till all the demands are met with.

The protesting farmers, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha reached Mumbai on Sunday after walking a distance of 180 km from Nashik.

The rally which includes men, women and children have gathered to press the government on the agrarian distress.

As farmers shared their heartwrenching stories with News 18, here's how Mumbai joined hands to support only one cause. Humanity.

The Thane Matadata Jagran Manch provided nearly 500kg of food grains to the farmers who camped for the night at BMC octroi ground, reported TOI. “We had been in touch with the protestors since the rally started from Nashik on Tuesday. The organizers had refused to accept donation, but we were determined to help them as we are aware how they struggle to ensure food on our plate,” said Unmesh Bagawe to TOI.

According to the same report, putting social media to good use, a concerned group mobilised footwear for the farmers after reading about their blistered and cracked feet, that eventually became a symbol for the farmers' Long March. “We were shocked to see the farmers walk barefoot on the highway. Some of us removed our footwear and offered it to the women, while others decided to donate shoes the following day,” said Nita Karnik, a resident of Flower Valley who volunteered to deliver 100 pairs of shoes.

According to Talekar, the Mumbai roti-bank, of which the dabbawalas are an integral part, deploys GPS-tracked vans to collect excess food from eateries, hotels, public functions, and households, so that it can be distributed to the poor and hungry people. Meanwhile, city residents were also seen offering 'Vada-pav' (a popular street snack), other food items and water to farmers last night.

As for the farmers, they returned the favour with a gesture that is now being lauded by many on social media. Starting Sunday night, the farmers marched all night to Azad Maidan so that students appearing for school exams were not inconvenienced.

To make sure their march doesn't go in vain, social media shared powerful visuals from the historic march.