With the harvesting season barely days away, preparations in Bathinda district’s Chak Fateh Singhwala village are on fully swing. Jaswinder Singh, 45, are going to be harvesting 10 acres of his yield of wheat during a week’s time. Singh, who returned to his village two days ago from the Delhi border are going to be helped by his friend and two men from the neighbourhood.
Nearly annually , Singh and his father, 65-year-old Jagrat Singh, would harvest the fields. However, things may be a bit different this point around. Singh is alone, as his father is at the Delhi border protesting against the three contentious Farm Laws.
Singh believes working and protesting should go hand-in-hand. “The day I came back to Punjab, my father left for the border. Both, the farm produce and therefore the agitation at the borders, are essential for our survival. We can’t abandoning of 1 for an additional ,” he added.
With harvesting season setting in and a sizeable population of farmers protesting, Punjab is showing the way on the way to keep an agitation alive and obtain work done too.
The logistics required for harvesting are going to be shared among the farmers. “It is primarily machine work. A combine harvester is that the key equipment required for harvesting. apart from that a lot of tractor-trolleys are at the borders. Few are brought back. therefore the tractor-trolleys are going to be shared among villagers counting on who is harvesting thereon day,” said Singh.
A combine harvester is important during the harvesting period because it enables the reaping of yield in one go and requires lesser labour.
According to Singh, the fields of these who are protesting at Delhi’s borders are going to be harvested first. Meetings are held in every gaali (neighbourhood) on how this may be coordinated and therefore the logistics required.
“The plan will make sure that nobody suffers losses. So, meetings are being held at the neighbourhood level. Everyone has begin in support,” he added.
Veer Devinder Singh, who resides within the same village, has been helping the families who are at the borders. He said that the amount of protesters at Delhi’s borders shouldn’t be allowed to dwindle.
A meeting was organised by the farmers’ unions few days ago where an idea was full-clad . “The harvesting depends on when the crop was sown back in November and December – when the crop will mature. So it’ll vary, which can help us choose when and where one must be available,” he added.
Besides neighbourhood-level meetings, village-level and district-level plans have also been drawn out. A three-tier system of neighbourhood, village and district has been created to hide all the protesting farmers’ families and make sure that nobody faces a loss. Farmers told Newsclick that folks are leaving for Delhi’s borders in batches supported harvesting time. “A batch leaves from one district for home, a batch from another district arrives. So, the farmers are coming and leaving district-wise, also to intensify the method of harvesting,” said Devinder.
The general consensus among the farmers is that the govt intended to point out that the movement was dying out during the wheat harvesting season. “The government has been expecting the wheat harvesting season in order that the crowds at the borders reduce, which it’ll use to further its agenda that the movement has died. We were conscious of this and hence proper planning has been done to stay the agitation going,” said another villager, Gurvinder Singh.
Punjab produced about 17.5 million tonnes of wheat last year, with the amount expected to the touch about 18 million tonnes this year.
To keep the movement alive, a series of village-level meetings were held last month. A team has been created which can carry the produce from the protesting farmers’ families to mandis. just in case assistance is needed with the harvesting, the members from the team will see thereto . The team consists of workers, local farmers, and volunteers in support of the agitating farmers.
“The team was created to assist the protesting farmers’ families back in Punjab. The team will help with logistics, harvesting and essentially, with carrying the produce to mandis. The struggle is long. We are prepared for it,” said Devinder.