Thousands of farmers from across the country converged at the historic Ramlila Ground after journeys that took some as long as 36 hours to complete to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce.
According to media reports , It is past midnight and a group of farmers are raising chants of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ while a few volunteers are offering tea to other peasants at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan to beat the cold.
They are spending the night at the ground before marching to Parliament .
Kartar Singh, 50, a sugarcane farmer from Sambal district, Uttar Pradesh, is anxious about the march tomorrow and cannot sleep, but he’s not complaining.
“We have not come here to sleep. Farmers have converged in Delhi to remind the Union government that the party leading it had made promises of waiving off loans in its manifesto. And, its been four and a half years since they came to power,” he said, with an edge of anger in his voice.
Singh, a father of two sons is from Fatehpur Sarai village and, his younger son (22 years) has taken the field work while he is away.
“My wife and children have told me, that I should fight and stay even for a week in Delhi, if needed,” he told PTI.
Inside the tents, farmers, both men and women, from all parts of India try to sleep in a chilly night, while many sat huddled together, discussing the next strategy and family issues.
But, a group of volunteers, belonging to welfare organisation ‘Khudai Khidmatgar’ are trying to offer some comfort to these wearied farmers in the cold weather.
Shahjeb Jamal, a civil engineering student at Jamia Islamia and a volunteer with the group is lugging around a steel container and a hands out paper cups to farmers as they huddle around.
“Our organisation’s philosophy as envisioned by its founder Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, is service and public harmony, and so we are here. We Stand its the farmers,” he said.