‘We leave walkie-talkies on at night too... ours is a 24x7 job’: How Devinder Singh ensures farmers’ stir keeps going
Devinder Singh, a farmer from Nawanshahr in Punjab, has been camping at the Singhu border from Day One of the protest. He is a part of the 30-member stage management committee at the protest site. For Singh, the day starts at 4 am when the committee members gather and start setting up the stage for the day. They first lay down the carpets on the stage and the sitting area in front. He also checks microphones, speakers, and lights around the stage.
All the team members carry walkie talkies throughout the day to stay connected and help each other in managing the work efficiently. “Our friends who sit near a mall (situated at the highway) keep on informing us about the celebrity speakers or prominent personalities visiting the protest site via walkie-talkie. We then facilitate their entry into the stage area as it is not open to everyone. If anyone wants to address the gathering from the stage they can also approach us. We ask them about their political affiliations and the content they intend to speak about before allowing them to go to the stage,” he said.
After 7:30 pm, he and his team members wind up the work. They roll up the carpets with the help of volunteers, remove all the microphones, lights, and chairs. “We make sleeping space for farmers on the stage and provide blankets. While some of the committee members sleep inside the tent set up behind the stage, many of us go back to our trolleys. Even during the nights, we keep our walkie-talkie on so that any of our team members can reach out to us in case of emergency. Ours is a 24*7 job.”