Three new vehicles appeared on Tuesday amidst the tractors and trolleys of protesting farmers at Delhi’s Tikri border on Rohtak road — vans serving as centres for a blood donation camp.
Throughout the day, volunteers among the protesting farmers lined up outside the vans to donate blood. Among them was 23-year-old Hasanpreet Singh from Thuliwal village in Barnala district. “The trolley in which we’re staying is quite far away from here but my friend had volunteered to donate blood and told me about it. I thought I’ll also volunteer since it could help someone,” he said.
Between 11.30 am and 2.30 pm, the van which Hasanpreet had gone to had received 54 donations.
Harvinder Singh, chairman of Khalsa Mission Charitable Trust, Bhatinda, which is organising the camp, said there were around 300 donations across all three vans by 3 pm.
“In the beginning when protesters had broken through the barricades, there were quite a few who were injured. There are also many elderly protesters. We have been providing medical facilities for them. But as the protest is growing, we also thought this would be a productive way to help people and as well as counter statements like protesters are terrorists. We want to show that our blood is for this country,” he said.
After the first day of the camp at Tikri border, the organisers will be conducting the camp at Singhu border on Wednesday.
As farmers fall ill, medical aid at hand
At the Delhi-Ghaziabad border, several farmers, exposed to the winter, are down with cold, cough and slight fever. Haseep Ahmed (40), a farmer from Rampur said, “Because of the temperature change and the polluted air, I have a cough and chest pain.” He said some farmers have returned home as they were starting to feel unwell. He asked his relatives at home to get him paracetamol and antibiotics.
A group from the Sahibabad Vidhan Sabha also set up medical facilities at the site, including a pulse oximeter so they could check if any of those feeling unwell have low oxygen levels. Vibha Singh, a representative of the Vidhan Sabha said, “We set up a stall here for a few hours every afternoon. Many farmers have consulted us for cough, cold and weakness and we give them basic medicines like paracetamol, D Cold total, Cetirizine and Vitamin tablets free of cost.”
She added that farmers are exposed to pollution and cold weather and their meals are not as regular.
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has also set up a pharmacy providing free medicines to farmers.
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