Free Wi-Fi for farmers at Singhu Border, they don’t know who to thank
On Saturday, farmers protesting at the Singhu intersection on the Delhi side of the police barricades had a pleasant surprise. Someone had set up a free Wi-Fi hot spot and written the login ID and password on several cardboard pieces, hung from strings.
Farmers HT spoke to appeared unaware of the identity of the Good Samaritan. “We call the service of such Good Samaritans as ‘gupt sewa’ (anonymous service). There are people who do good, but don’t want to be identified,” said Sukwinder Singh, a resident of Sabhra village in Tarn Taran and joint secretary of Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan Committee (Punjab).
The cardboard pieces announcing the free Wi-Fi wasn’t exactly without a name. While some carried the login ID and password, all mentioned the donor as “Aapka Abhishek” (your Abhishek). But they didn’t carry a full name, name of any organisation or a contact number.
Farmers said the free Wi-Fi service appeared at a time when they had been struggling due to poor internet connectivity for days. “Due to a large gathering here, the phone network has been a problem. We were facing call drops and were hardly able to use the internet,” said Ramandeep Singh, a farmer from Rampura in Bhatinda.
Jasveer Singh Piddi, vice president of Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Committee (Punjab), said the Wi-Fi has allowed farmers here to make video calls to their families back home. “The internet now is much better than before. Farmers are using this internet to even make voice calls. It has also helped the younger men to share content on social media,” said Piddi.
There were also a couple of individuals, who are mainly into broadcasting the protests, who got Wi-Fi installed by paying an exorbitant price.
“Network has been a problem here and I wasn’t able to broadcast from here. So, someone offered to install Wi-Fi for a single user and charged me R25,000 for installation and a month’s usage. Since the protests are likely to continue for long, I decided to pay,” said Jitender Singh, a resident of Amritsar who runs a religious TV channel.