Farmers' Protest: Hundreds of Determined Women from Punjab Brave Chill on Roads
Braving the plummeting temperatures and sleeping in the open, many of them with their children, women from different parts of Punjab have assembled along with thousands of male farmers at Delhi's borders to take on the Centre against its new farm laws. Around 15,000 women, including the elderly, have joined the farmers' agitation against the Centre's agriculture-related laws, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) leader Shingara Singh said on Tuesday.
Women are giving their immense support to the ongoing agitation against the farm laws, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) leader Harinder Kaur Bindu said over the phone. A large number of women have stayed put at the Tikri border in Haryana near West Delhi. Away from their homes, the women are determined to accomplish their aim of getting the black laws scrapped, they said.
We are not bothered about the cold weather conditions, said 40-year-old Paramjit Kaur who came all the way from Bathinda to participate in the agitation. "We tell our fellow protesters that it's going to be a long battle and they should stay put," she said.
The women are actively participating in the agitation and raise their voice against the farm laws when the stage is set up at a particular place on the road. Many women are good speakers and they share their opinions on the recently passed farm laws by the Centre, said Bindu.
On the makeshift stage, the protesting women also sing 'boliyan' (folk songs of Punjab) and raise slogans against the BJP-led central government for enacting what they describe as anti-farmer laws. They help in creating awareness about the alleged ill-effects of the laws on the farming community, said Bindu.
At the protest spot, the women also carry out chores such as cooking food and washing clothes. They sleep in their tractor-trolleys which have been turned into temporary shelters by the farmers. Some women protesters have also brought their children to the agitation. The kids have brought their text books along so that their studies dont suffer, Bindu said.
The women said residents of nearby villages in Haryana are allowing them to use their bathrooms and also providing hot water for baths. We are getting immense support from the villagers of Haryana. They are providing us vegetables, fruit, milk, curd, drinking water and even blankets, said Bindu.
Some residents of Haryana are also running 'langars' or community kitchens for the protesters, they said. The Haryana villagers have also arranged facilities for the protesters to charge their mobile phones. Thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana have stayed put at various Delhi border points for the sixth consecutive day on Tuesday, protesting against the new farm laws which they fear will dismantle the minimum support price system and leave them at the "mercy" of big corporates.