Not everyone at Singhu is there for the long haul. Even as thousands of farmers settle in at Delhi’s borders, there are hundreds of people from Delhi and nearby who are making one-day visits to be a part of — or just witness — the farm protest. While some say they want to see history in the making, others are more involved, sitting down and chanting slogans alongside farmers and participating in the seva at numerous langars before heading home in the evening.
Satpal Singh walks slowly across the main stage with his two-year-old grandson in his arms. He keeps pointing out the various stalls set up at the protest as the boy listens in rapt attention.
“I believe the farmers are right — if the government doesn’t listen to them, they might end up being slaves to corporates. This is an important protest and they have our support. Today is my first day here and my family and I will keep coming back whenever we can,” said Satpal, a businessman from Tilak Nagar, who was accompanied by 15 other family members.
During the day, several families from Delhi, Sonipat and Panipat became one with the crowd as speeches kept ringing from the speakers at Singhu. While some come in their vehicles, which they park on the Delhi side of the police barricades, others use Metros and autos to reach. In some family and colony WhatsApp groups, messages are being circulated so people can visit in large groups.
“I asked my daughters to take leave from their office and visit the protest because we don’t want to miss out on being part of history. Our family also has farms in Amritsar so we understand… From the atmosphere here, one can sense that they won’t move till the laws are repealed,” said Surinder Kaur from Janakpuri.
Many visitors can be seen walking till the far end of the protest to get a sense of how large it is, while some children diligently write down slogans on posters to be put up on the sides of tents.
Nearly 2 km from the police barricades, a family of eight walks towards the stage. Seven-year-old Gurkirat cannot contain his excitement as he sees the large tractors on the road. “He has been particularly excited to visit the protest. We stay on the Haryana side of the border and are planning to visit routinely. We also take part in seva sometimes. Serving the farmers is like doing god’s work,” said Manjeet Kaur, who stays near Panipat refinery.
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