| Ludhiana |
October 31, 2020 10:34:25 pm
The Punjab farmer shouldn’t be ploughing a lonely furrow. He is 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 saved this month-long protest occurring.
Although 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 collaborating 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 common members, we make it necessary to donate as per the world underneath agriculture and liabilities,” mentioned Jagmohan Singh Patiala, basic secretary of BKU (Dakaunda). These days paddy procurement has been accomplished. Therefore, funds are being collected by nearly each farmer organisation from common members whereas the remainder can do it voluntarily. Mostly farmers donate part of the procured crop (wheat or paddy) to their village models, which promote it in mandis and the cash is saved 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 the whole village earlier than going to dharna web site every day. At instances greens are donated by some vegetable growers or we buy them as properly. Similarly, we buy sugar, tea leaves and disposable utensils,” Jagmohan mentioned.
He mentioned, ”Our Muslim vegetable growers/wholesalers donated greens at Malerkotla in addition to Sangrur’s dharna spots for a lot of days even though tomatoes and onions are going out of the frequent man’s attain. We largely prepare dinner pulses, roti or infrequently namkeen or meethe chawal are made. As Punjab’s staple meals is wheat, we’d like 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 every day. “Punjab’s custom of langar can by no means let anybody sleep hungry. People donate cash at dharna websites as properly. Most of those are non-farmers,” Jagmohan mentioned.
BKU (Ugrahan) has 69 dharnas occurring at toll plazas and petrol pumps. Every 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 individuals sitting at dharna. People who sleep at dharna websites generally make recent chapatis within the night whereas cooked dal/ vegetable comes from village models through the day itself,” mentioned Sukhdev Singh, basic 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 areas. President of the outfit Satnam Singh Pannu mentioned, ”On a each day foundation, some villagers come to dharna websites and return by night. Every morning, they create recent milk and cooked chapatis. These are saved at a standard langar web site being managed by kar sewaks. Milk is used for making tea. We 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 gather funds at village ranges. These funds are then used for back and forth motion of union and non-union members to dharna websites through tempos, trolleys, mini-buses and buses. Sometimes, few union members use their automobiles and later take gasoline expenses from the union. Men and girls are available in 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 payment 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 every day. BKU (Ugrahan) basic secretary Sukhdev Singh mentioned earlier than paddy harvesting began, greater than 75,000 individuals used to return at numerous dharna spots every day. Now the quantity has come right down to 50,000.
Tent/ sound system
Payment for tents and sound system is made totally on a weekly foundation from the unions’ accounts. Union members keep that they haven’t calculated the precise bills but it surely have to be enormous. Jagmohan mentioned, ”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 four lakh, together with all bills. Donors are beneficiant. As from langar standpoint, Punjab is blessed with a behavior of donating and the remaining bills are managed via collections from villagers and voluntary donations. Some donors sitting overseas are additionally serving to.”
Sukhdev mentioned, ”People involved with farming are donating from overseas as properly. 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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