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Monday, November 29, 2021

For this 82-year-old, a daily ritual: cycling 24km to stir site and back

Chahal is Amritdhari Sikh and lives with his son and daughter-in-law while his grandchildren are settled abroad. The family has four-and-a-half acres of land and Chahal's son, Harpal, takes care of the work in the farm.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
Updated: November 24, 2021 7:49:08 am
Banta Singh Chahal (Express photo)

EIGHTY-TWO-year-old Banta Singh Chahal, a resident of Dalla village in Jagraon constituency, Ludhiana, cycles 24 km (to and fro) every day to reach the protest site outside Jagraon railway station since October 1, 2020.

“I cycle 12 km from my house to the protest site and come back daily. I start around 10.30 am from my house and reach the site around 11.30. I leave from there by 3.30 pm and reach home in another hour. I don’t break this routine at all..come what may,” Chahal said, adding that cycling also keeps him fit.
The protest site is being managed by 32 farmer unions of Punjab under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha.

Chahal is Amritdhari Sikh and lives with his son and daughter-in-law while his grandchildren are settled abroad. The family has four-and-a-half acres of land and Chahal’s son, Harpal, takes care of the work on the farm.

Harpal, 60, said, “We have always supported the movement but my father is very committed. He even went to the Singhu border once to take part in the protest. Otherwise, he goes to the railway station every day.

Chahal said that he was committed to continuing with the protest till the demands were met. “For now, I will continue going to the protest site as Samyukta Kisan Morcha has asked us to continue with old programmes as of now,” Chahal said, adding that he eats simple dal roti and urges all people to continue doing physical exercise in one way or the other.

Jagroop Singh Roopa, 52, who is from the same village, accompanies Chahal every day to the site. He too cycles with Chahal and goes to the site to give him company. “We never gave up and maybe that’s why the PM had to announce to repeal the farm laws. We are waiting for the implementation part of this announcement,” Roopa said, adding that they all took part in the lok lehar together.

Kanwaljeet Khanna from BKU Dakaunda, who manages the Jagraon railway park protest site, said that they salute the spirit of Chahal and Roopa. “We have also honoured both of them for their dedication,” Khanna said.

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