Thousands of girls have joined protests by farmers on the outskirts of latest Delhi to mark International Women’s Day, demanding the scrapping of latest agricultural laws that open up the country’s vast farm sector to non-public buyers.
The demonstrations on Monday were held at multiple sites on the capital’s fringes where tens of thousands of farmers have camped for quite three months to protest against the laws, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says are necessary to modernise agriculture.Wearing bright yellow scarves representing the color of mustard fields, the ladies took centre stage at one key site, chanting slogans, holding small marches, and making speeches against the laws.
“This is a crucial day because it represents women’s strength,” said Veena, a 37-year-old from a farming family, who gave just one name so as to guard her identity.
“I believe if us women are united, then we will achieve our target much quicker,” added Veena, who travelled from the northern state of Punjab to the sprawling Tikri protest spot.
More than 20,000 women gathered at the location near Delhi’s border with the state of Haryana, police and event organisers said.
“This may be a day which will be managed and controlled by women, the speakers are going to be women, there’ll be tons of feminist perspectives brought in, and discussions on what these laws mean for ladies farmers,” said farm activist Kavitha Kuruganti.
“It is another occasion to showcase and highlight the contribution of girls farmers both in agriculture in India also on this movement.”Holding the flags of farm unions, they listened to female farm leaders speak and chanted slogans against the laws. a minimum of 17 took part during a day-long fast .
“Women are sitting here, call at the open, in protest, but Modi doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about mothers, sisters, and daughters. He doesn’t care about women. That’s clear,” said Mandeep Kaur, a female farmer who travelled 1,100km (680 miles) from Chhattisgarh state to participate within the protests.
Women are prominent at the forefront of the protests, which have posed one among the most important challenges to Modi since he took office in 2014.
Many travelled with the thousands of male farmers who received the protest sites in late November and have since organized and led protest marches, run medical camps and large soup kitchens that feed thousands and raised demands for gender equality.