By way of asserting their resolve to stay put at the protest site, farmers at the Singhu border have constructed sheds with metal frames and installed air-coolers or air-conditioners (ACs) in a bid to tackle Delhi’s searing summer.
A host of other changes was also noted at the protest site near the Singhu border. Tractor trolleys have been fitted with air-coolers or ACs while langars were equipped with refrigerators. The menu at the langars, which serve hundreds every day has been altered too, with khichdi giving way to roti, and lassi being made available throughout the day.
Talking to the Indian Express, Jasbeer Singh (38), a farmer from Fatehgarh Sahib said he comes to the protest site “in rotation” like most other farmers and lives in a shed with an iron frame, a thatched roof, and walls made of the green net which is used in nurseries. His shed is also fitted with an air-cooler and a refrigerator, he added.
Jasbeer who cultivates rice and wheat in his six-acre land says he will be returning to his native place to tend to his fields in the coming days only to be replaced by another batch of farmers from the district.
“If we don’t protest, there will be nothing for tomorrow,” another farmer tells the Indian Express who has been at the site with his grandfather since the protest began in November-end last year.
As per reports, nearly 50 people from the Firozpur district have set up three structures fitted with air-coolers or air-conditioners, a bamboo shelter, a shelter with steel frames, and a trolley around which they have built a wooden structure.
“Trolley is the most comfortable as it cools the fastest,” said a fellow farmer at the border. When asked about the procurement for the materials to build the shed, the farmers said that iron frames were sourced from Punjab, while some of the other materials were purchased from shops near the Singhu border. Several appliances like RO water filters were donated by well-wishers and organizations.
Despite having installed ACs many farmers expressed their concern regarding the irregular supply of electricity while others complained of the expenses they had to bear to buy these appliances in order to stay at the protest site.
“My family has already spent around Rs 5 lakh since last year. We will be spending another Rs 4 lakh,” said a Punjab-based farmer who was quoted telling the Indian express.
Despite of facing challenges, most of the farmers expressed their intent of not vacating the protest site until the farm laws are repealed.