Maha farmers’ stir: Mumbai steps up to extend solidarity | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Maha farmers’ stir: Mumbai steps up to extend solidarity

Thousands of farmers who reached Azad Maidan early on Monday, received support from several associations and self-help groups with no political affiliations.

mumbai Updated: Mar 13, 2018 01:03 IST
Sagar Pillai
Sagar Pillai
Hindustan Times
A Muslim group distributes water bottles and dates to farmers at Azad Maidan on Monday.
A Muslim group distributes water bottles and dates to farmers at Azad Maidan on Monday.(Pratik Chorge/HT )

As farmers marched 180 kilometres to the state legislature for their demands, several citizens, non-government organisations and self-help groups came forward to do their bit, by supplying them food, water, medicines and even footwear.

There were several participants in the march whose footwear was broken and some even walked barefoot. Piku Ahuja and Isha Ahluwalia, a couple in their thirties, was seen distributing footwear to the farmers for free. The duo said they had been keeping a track of the issue in the papers and decided to support the farmers in any way they could.

They were making several rounds to the nearby market to buy footwear and were distributing them for free at Azad Maidan. “Please do not click our pictures. We are here to help and not for publicity,” they said.

Protesting the state government’s failure to fulfil their promises, thousands of farmers who reached Azad Maidan early on Monday, received support from several associations and self-help groups with no political affiliations. The farmers were completely exhausted after the long march and some were rushed to the hospital.

The Robin Hood Army, a volunteer based organisation which works against food wastage, distributed nearly 240 pairs of footwear to the struggling farmers. Faiza Dhanani, one of the volunteers, said, “For today’s protest, friends and relatives of the volunteers approached the Robin Hood Army to distribute footwear.”

A Sikh community outfit, Khalsa Aid International, sent volunteers to take stock of the situation and then distributed approximately 3,000 water bottles to the people. Similarly, many individuals were seen contributing in the form of wafers, snacks and buttermilk to the farmers.

Other associations such as the Manav Seva Kalyankari Sangh from Worli, a self-funded group of 11 people, and Jai Ho Foundation from Kurla, were seen distributing biscuits and water. Afroz Malik, president of Jai Ho Foundation, said, “We are a group of around 30 working professionals who spend money from their own expense.” While the farmers marched towards Azad Maidan late in the night, several residents of housing societies provided water and snacks on the way.