February 10, 2021 6:58:09 am
From decorative crafts to bamboo doors for tents, farmers at Ghazipur border are investing time and energy into beautifying their surroundings. While some aim to make their temporary settlements feel “more like home”, others say they just want to make the most of their spare time.
Towards the end of the protest site, a “wall of democracy” has joined two rows of tents. The wall, made out of bamboo, features a poster of the Preamble to the Constitution of India, a poster of Bhagat Singh pasted on thermocol, and information about Sikh gurus.
Dalvinder Singh (24), a farmer from Lakhimpur Kheri, stays in the tent beside the wall. “The people who made the wall have left, but they constructed it for those who would come after them. So we gladly made this space our home. The wall is intended to remind farmers of what democracy is really about,” he said.
Given the close proximity of the site to a number of nurseries, many tents are now lined up with plants. At the heart of the protest sits a miniature thermocol well, adorned with lights and posters of BKU’s Rakesh Tikait.
Jagdeep Singh (18) said the well was made by his 22-year-old brother to remind farmers of their villages. “He took a day or two to make it. He likes making crafts, and so he decorated the area where we sit in the evenings. He has now gone home for a few days but will come back soon,” he said.
An art gallery created by All India Students’ Federation features paintings that were made by students and some farmers. Karambir Singh (43), a farmer from Tarn Taran who runs a langar opposite the gallery, was among those whose creations were displayed.
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“I used to paint when I was in school. After that I got into farming, so I never really got a chance. Five days ago, I made a painting of a farmer sitting on a tractor,” he said.
Sanjay Singh, a student from Lucknow who helped set up the gallery, said, “Farmers have started investing their time and creativity into decorating their surroundings because it is now clear that they are not going to move anywhere from here.”
A number of tents now have bamboo entrances. A group of six farmers from Rampur in UP have set up a room with chairs and a table. The room comprises paintings and lights which they purchased from Khora colony and plants from a nursery near the border. They said it took them a few days to set it up and they will keep decorating it further since they are here to stay.
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