To aid the farmers braving cold weather conditions to protest against the Indian government’s new farm laws, a huge roti making machine has been installed at the site of agitation at Delhi borders.
Thousands of farmers have been demonstrating since late last month over reforms enacted in September that loosened rules around the sale, pricing and storage of farm produce that had protected farmers from an unfettered free market for decades. They have set up camp at the Singhu and Tikri borders and have brought with them ration which can last for months.
Now, according to a report by NDTV, a huge chapati making machine has also been installed at the camp to churn out over 1500 - 2000 rotis in one hour. This naturally makes it easier for the farmers to produce food for thousands at the camp.
These roti machines are usually used at Gurudwaras, including Amritsar’s famous Golden Temple, to cook langar for thousands of people every day.
A video that has gone viral on social media demonstrates how the machine works. The dough balls are placed inside the machine, which then flattens it into round chapatis that just need to be cooked. The rotis are then cooked over fire while someone controls the machine. Finally, the machine churns out hot, perfectly cooked rotis that are ready to eat.
Thousands of protesting farmers from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have been gathered at five different borders since November 26 including Delhi’s Chilla and Singhu border for nearly two weeks, demanding a repeal of three agricultural laws passed by the Centre in September. The protesting farmers have a set of five main demands including implementation of MSP.
The main objection to the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act is that it is pro-corporate. It allows farmers to sell outside of the APMC (agricultural produce market committee). But it abolishes the mandi system that operates under the APMC system, meaning farmers would now have to sell to corporates, meaning there will be no purchase of crop at MSP.
Besides these, farmers fear losing their land and becoming “slaves" to the corporates as far as The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 is concerned.
The Khalsa Aid Foundation has also helped the farmers by making arrangements for refreshments, including tea and snacks. The founder of the foundation, Amarpreet Singh, also told NDTV that they have helped develop 20 mobile toilets at the protest site for the women protesting against the laws.