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Friday, February 26, 2021

Three months into protest, Singhu prepares for another season change

Fans, coolers, even air-conditioners, may be ahead. “Through the protest, our village has collected around Rs. 1.5 lakh in funds. Once it gets warmer, we will purchase an AC and generator,” said Ranveer Singh, from a village in Fatehgarh Sahib.

Written by Sukrita Baruah | New Delhi |
Updated: February 14, 2021 2:01:20 pm
farm bills, farmers protest, delhi border, singhu border, farm protest news, delhi summer, indian express newsAt Singhu, tents are being moved to an empty plot nearby. (Photo: Amit Mehra)

As the farmers’ agitation at Delhi’s borders nears the end of three months, farmers and coordinators at the Singhu site are getting ready for their second change of season — with winter thawing into spring.

The protest at the Singhu border had begun at the end of November, and as the biting winter set in, logistics at the protest site had to a large extent revolved around keeping warm, with blanket and shawl distributions, arrangement of firewood, cold-proofing of the tractor-trolleys and shelters, keeping food warm, setting up of desi­geysers and so on. With the temperatures rising over the past week, hitting 26 degrees on Saturday, protesters are re-adjusting.

The ‘Kisan Mall’ run by Khalsa Aid is restocking. “We had been focusing on thermals, shawls, blankets and tarpaulin. Now, there will be T-shirts, cooler track pants, mosquito nets and sheets, instead of blankets,” said Amarpreet Singh, the India head of the organisation.

The organisation is also getting ready for rise in drinking water demand. “We have set up five RO systems. Each of these produces 2,000 litres of drinking water an hour,” he said.

Tents that earlier occupied the premises of a petrol pump on the GT Karnal Road are being moved to an empty plot nearby, till now used as a dumpyard. Most of these tents have been donated by the Hemkunth Foundation.

The ground has plenty of trees, and the coordinators were clearing it Saturday. “We cleared it ourselves over three days… We have to pre-empt the conditions, otherwise people will have a difficult time,” said Jatin Singh of the Hemkunth Foundation.

The Majha Kisan Sangharsh Committee said the tents they had organised had already started getting very warm during the day. “It gets suffocating inside them in the afternoon. We are thinking of making them more open and putting up mosquito nets,” said Harpal Singh from the organisation.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, which runs a large langar near the main stage, is putting up a covering for the dining area. Others are changing their menu. “We provided doodh-shahad (hot milk with honey) at night, but we are phasing that away to lassi now. Yesterday, we provided 21 quintals of lassi,” said Hardeep Singh, of the Nirmal Kuthia langar sewa from Karnal.

Farmers, who have spent three months in their tractor-trolleys, have also started preparing for warmer days. Sandeep Singh, from a village in Jind, said they are clearing land below large trees for shade.

Fans, coolers, even air-conditioners, may be ahead. “Through the protest, our village has collected around Rs. 1.5 lakh in funds. Once it gets warmer, we will purchase an AC and generator,” said Ranveer Singh, from a village in Fatehgarh Sahib.

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