New Delhi, May 11
From conducting disinfection drives to serving immunity-boosting ‘kadha’ in langars, farmers protesting at Tikri and Singhu borders in the national capital against the Centre’s three agricultural laws are taking new steps everyday to keep the deadly coronavirus at bay.
Delhi reported 319 more COVID-19 fatalities and 12,651 new cases on Monday, with a positivity rate of 19.10 per cent.
“We disinfected 17-km of the protest site at the Tikri border. And will do it again in the coming days as well. We have been taking all preventive measures to stop the spread of coronavirus, including distributing masks and sanitisers to the protesting farmers,” Roop Singh of Bharat Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) said on Tuesday.
Singh claimed that the farmers have not got any support from the government in fighting against coronavirus, and that all measures taken to curb the spread of the virus at the Tikri border have been taken by them only.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three Delhi border points — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — for almost six months, demanding a repeal of the three agri reform laws enacted by the central government in September last year.
According to farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar, each and every langar at the Singhu border is being sanitised regularly and to improve the immunity of protesting farmers, ‘kadha’ is also being served on a daily basis.
“The langars operating round-the-clock are being sanitised regularly. To improve the immunity of farmers, they are being served with ‘kadha’ as well. Also, there are vaccination camps in the vicinity and whoever wants to get vaccinated is free to get the jab,” said Kohar from Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ unions spearheading the stir.
“We, from our end, are neither forcing anyone to not have it or have it, this is their personal choice,” he said.
The Centre has been maintaining that the new farm laws will free farmers from middlemen, giving them more options to sell their crops.
The protesting farmers, however, say the laws will pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the ‘mandi’ (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. — PTI