| Ludhiana |
October 31, 2020 10:34:25 pm
The Punjab farmer shouldn’t be ploughing a lonely furrow. He’s protesting, he’s elevating his voice — backed by a collective and well-coordinated effort. So there are voluntary donations, contribution of dry ration, association of transport and de-centralised system which have stored this month-long protest occurring.
Though farmers have been organising protests and dharnas since mid-June, they intensified their protest since October 1 when an indefinite rail roko and dharnas at toll plazas, non-public petrol pumps and storage homes began. Thirty farmer unions are participating on this protest at greater than 100 locations in Punjab.
Many donors sitting overseas ship funds to the unions with which they’re hooked up. “Donations are voluntarily made twice a 12 months — after crop harvesting of rabi and kharif crops. For normal members, we make it obligatory to donate as per the realm underneath agriculture and liabilities,” stated Jagmohan Singh Patiala, common secretary of BKU (Dakaunda). Nowadays paddy procurement has been accomplished. Due to this fact, funds are being collected by virtually each farmer organisation from common members whereas the remaining can do it voluntarily. Principally farmers donate part of the procured crop (wheat or paddy) to their village models, which promote it in mandis and the cash is stored within the union’s village unit account. Dry ration like wheat flour, rice and pulses are additionally donated by farmers frequently at every dharna web site. Milk is collected from all the village earlier than going to dharna web site each day. At instances greens are donated by some vegetable growers or we buy them as nicely. Equally, we buy sugar, tea leaves and disposable utensils,” Jagmohan stated.
He stated, ”Our Muslim vegetable growers/wholesalers donated greens at Malerkotla in addition to Sangrur’s dharna spots for a lot of days even supposing tomatoes and onions are going out of the widespread man’s attain. We largely cook dinner pulses, roti or now and again namkeen or meethe chawal are made. As Punjab’s staple meals is wheat, we want extra of wheat flour. “
Villagers additionally donate ration at village gurdwaras the place langar is cooked and later dropped at the dharna web site by sewadaars each day. “Punjab’s custom of langar can by no means let anybody sleep hungry. Folks donate cash at dharna websites as nicely. Most of those are non-farmers,” Jagmohan stated.
BKU (Ugrahan) has 69 dharnas occurring at toll plazas and petrol pumps. Each day roster is made and duties are assigned to village models close to the dharna websites on a rotation foundation for bringing cooked langar to dharna web site together with milk. Tea is made on the web site and cooked meals is served to folks sitting at dharna. Individuals who sleep at dharna websites generally make contemporary chapatis within the night whereas cooked dal/ vegetable comes from village models in the course of the day itself,” stated Sukhdev Singh, common secretary of BKU (Ugrahan).
The Ugrahan group collects funds twice a 12 months from village models after wheat and paddy procurement.
Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee (KMSC) has been organising rail roko since September 24 at choose places. President of the outfit Satnam Singh Pannu stated, ”Every day, some villagers come to dharna websites and return by night. Each morning, they create contemporary milk and cooked chapatis. These are stored at a typical langar web site being managed by kar sewaks. Milk is used for making tea. We now have been utilizing wheat procurement funds since September to pay for tents and sound system. Now paddy procurement season’s donations can be serving to us in our lengthy wrestle forward.”
Village models of farmer unions accumulate funds at village ranges. These funds are then used for from side to side motion of union and non-union members to dharna websites by way of tempos, trolleys, mini-buses and buses. Typically, few union members use their automobiles and later take gasoline prices from the union. Women and men are available separate automobiles whereas kids come on their bikes. Village models have already got funds of their accounts that are getting used for transportation of villagers at dharna websites.
Membership charge of many of the unions is taken as soon as in two years and it’s nominal — Rs 20 solely. Many non- members additionally come to those dharnas each day. BKU (Ugrahan) common secretary Sukhdev Singh stated earlier than paddy harvesting began, greater than 75,000 folks used to return at varied dharna spots each day. Now the quantity has come right down to 50,000.
Tent/ sound system
Cost for tents and sound system is made totally on a weekly foundation from the unions’ accounts. Union members preserve that they haven’t calculated the precise bills nevertheless it should be enormous. Jagmohan stated, ”At Sangrur railway station almost 10-11 unions had organised mixed dharna for 21 days and our collective bills at one web site was round Rs 4 lakh, together with all bills. Donors are beneficiant. As from langar viewpoint, Punjab is blessed with a behavior of donating and the remaining bills are managed by collections from villagers and voluntary donations. Some donors sitting overseas are additionally serving to.”
Sukhdev stated, ”Folks involved with farming are donating from overseas as nicely. Tiny contributions by the plenty are making these morchas run.”
Village models, block models, district models and later state models run in a decentralised method. As such, no confusion occurs in assigning duties to farmers. Farmer unions had additionally distributed ration kits to the needy in villages throughout lockdown.
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