Coolers, fans, shade: Protesters at borders prepare a summer plan
Tarpaulin tents at the Capital’s borders will soon be replaced with mosquito nets, fans and coolers will replace the braziers and fireplaces, while water coolers will outnumber water tankers as farmers protesting against the three new farm laws at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri began to chalk out plans for the summer, as concerns began to emerge among union leaders that the heat may force crowds away. Scientists at the India Meteorological Department had on Wednesday said winter was on its way out as temperatures in the Capital begin their steady rise.
Mannu Tyagi, a member of the Bhartiya Kisan Union who has been camping at Ghazipur, said coolers and fans have already been ordered. “We expect them to arrive by the end of this month. Other items we may need for the summer are also being purchased. All arrangements will be made to minimise the discomfort to protesters, so that the agitation continues without any hurdle,” Tyagi said.
Farmers unions at Ghazipur have also placed orders for water coolers, mosquito nets, plastic sheets and summer tents, protesters aware of the matter said.
On Thursday, announcements were made from the stage at the Ghazipur border, assuring protesters that steps are being taken to prepare the protest site for summer. “All of us need to keep the movement going. Don’t worry about the weather —the Kisan Ekta Morcha is all set to make arrangements for summers. We faced problems in winters, but came together overcame it,” the speaker said.
Mahender Pal Singh, 44, a farmer from Muzaffarnagar, who came to Ghazipur border after January 26, said they are planning to remove the tarpaulin covering their tent. “These sheets can be replaced with mosquito nets and we will sleep under the sky. During the day, desert coolers and fans will keep us cool. We are planning to go home and return with pedestal fans and coolers. We will also bring our summer clothes,” Singh said.
Rajbir Singh, a farmer from Baghpat said a shade will be erected to protect protesters from the sun. “Water coolers and ice will be so that everyone gets cold water. Drinks will be served to keep the agitators hydrated. More water will also have to be arranged,” he said.
The organisers said they are also in touch with gurdwara committees to arrange for the amenities needed to keep the movement going during the summers.
Farmers at Singhu border also said if the government does not repeal the farmers, they will make arrangements for summers from March.
Daniel Moosa, an independent farmer from Patiala, Punjab, said if they need to continue the protest longer they are planning to set up shades. “We cannot have a sit-in protest under the sun. We will need shades. We are also planning to bring in more get generators to run the fans and coolers uninterrupted, in case the government disconnects the power supply. Our farmer leaders keep holding meetings. They are also planning to install solar panels to save cost of running generators,” said Moosa, who has been camping at Singhu border November 26 onwards.