Bizmen, NGOs lend helping hand to protesters - ECAS Punjab

Bizmen, NGOs lend helping hand to protesters

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Contribute with food, water to show solidarity with farmers

Aman Sood

Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 21

From serving tea, packed juices and lassi to contributing with money, the farmers’ agitation is gaining momentum with support from many quarters.

Thousands of farmers, who are on a warpath against the Central Government’s farm Bills, have started receiving unprecedented support from various quarters, including college students, businessmen, traders, industrialists, non-governmental organisations and union leaders. Interestingly, the farm leaders have refused any monetary help, saying that the “hands that feed the nation can feed their agitation”.

“Our whole economy revolves around the crop cycle. If farmers are unhappy, the market sentiment will also be down. We are here to silently help our friends in distress in whatever manner we can,” said an industrialist, who had come with packed water, cold drinks and rice along with his colleagues. “We do not want any attention. It is just a noble gesture from us towards our farmers,” he said.

At another corner, Khalsa Aid volunteers were seen supplying packed juice and lassi to the agitating farmers and also giving some ration supply to their makeshift kitchen which is making meals for over 15,000 agitators. “While farm unions have refused the help, we are still here to show our solidarity with them,” a volunteer said.

Elderly women along with their children were also seen preparing meals for the farmers, with many of them from non-farming background. “My husband is a farm labourer and all I know is that all my relatives are coming to Patiala every day to protest against the Bills. I am supporting them from my kitchen,” said septuagenarian Baldev Kaur, who hails from Dirba.

Meanwhile, the farm unions have threatened to intensify their struggle against the Centre in addition to the statewide ‘bandh’ call of September 25. “We will declare our next course of action tomorrow. There will be complete boycott of the Central Government. No MLA, MP or any other leader should dare to join our agitation as they all have let us down. The politicians have made a mockery of farmers,” said Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) senior leader Jagtar Singh.

Earlier, the farmers continued with their dharna at the PUDA grounds here for the sixth consecutive day. They raised slogans against the Central and state governments over their “anti-farmer” policies.

from The Tribune

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