For several days and nights now, farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been braving many odds — the dropping temperature, water cannon attacks, tear gas, broken roads…to just let their voice heard. The long march, away from home and family has taken a toll on the physical and mental well-being of many farmers, and the stories of their struggles and ordeals are being shared on a number of platforms.
With the support coming from several quarters, two young women from Chandigarh, Gursahiba Gill and Gurpreet Bhatti, who have been working together on many projects of social consequences, especially for women empowerment, health and hygiene, have come forward to garner the support for the protesting farmers. “We were contacted by Gaurav Deep, Chairperson, Initiative of Change, an organisation based in Ludhiana. He is in touch with the farmers and talked to us about how they need basic medicines, first aid kits and relief material and we decided to use our experience to contribute to the cause,” shares 24-year-old Gill, who has a Master’s in psychology.
Bhatti, 23, who is doing law from PU says the increasing demand for basic medicines for fever, cough, cold, allergy, painkillers, sprains, aches and pains…and also basic necessities like milk powder, cotton, disinfectants have been growing among the protesting farmers. “We approached people through social media, personal messages, friends, family and set up three collection points, in Chandigarh and Mohali for this medicine drive. The response, to say the least, was overwhelming, with people walking in with so many packets,” adds Bhatti.
Not just medicines, many came with handwritten letters for the farmers, many expressing how they feel helpless watching the farmers brave it out alone. “We have collected so much, and while a lot has been sent, we are segregating other packets, which will be distributed over the next few days,” says Gill.
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