Disinfection drives, 'kadha': Here's how farmers are fighting the virus
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 every day 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 percent.
Government hasn't provided any kind of assistance: Roop Singh
"We disinfected 17-km of the protest site at the Tikri border. And will do it again in the coming days as well," 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 have been taken by them only.
Farmers have been protesting against farm laws since November
Farmers have been camping at three Delhi border points, Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur, for almost six months, demanding a repeal of the three agricultural reform laws enacted by the central government in September last year. According to farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar, every langar at the Singhu border is sanitized, and to improve the immunity of protesting farmers, kadha is served on a daily basis.
Farmers are free to get vaccinated: Kohar
"The langars are operating round-the-clock. 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 added.
Government has maintained that laws will free farmers from middlemen
Meanwhile, 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.