BLISTERED FEET, NO SLIPPERS, LESS FOOD AND HIGH HOPES…

Nearly half-a-lakh protesters after walking for over 180 kilometres were gathered at Azad Maidan on Monday morning with a hope that their demands will be met which allow them to exercise their social status. They are not merely farmers, rather tribals who are even wanting the government to fix the loopholes especially in Forest Right Act, 2006. The is led by All India Kisaan Sabha(AIKS).

They were here to meet CM of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray supported the march along with Shiv Sena Chairperson Aditya Thackeray who talked to the farmers regarding their demands. A delegation of farmers will then be allowed to come to the Vidhan Bhavan to meet Chief Minister Fadnavis.

WHY THIS PROTEST?

– Undeniably the crops have been destroyed on a large scale because of unpredictable weather and poor rainfall. They were looking forward to freedom from debt rather than ‘loan waiver’ as their income continues to shrink. They were demanding of implementation of Forest Rights Act, 2006 in accordance with ownership of their lands.
Because of the droughts which significantly followed pricing policies which have weakened the farmer community. The demands also included the good quality education for farmers’ children.

WHAT ALL THEY HAVE MISSED ON, ALL THIS TIME?

– Unlike the urban workers who have corporate jobs and can make up for a leave of 2-3 days, this sector of workers specifically works on daily basis. Knowing that right after the protest is called off, they will head back to their homes and might have to stay hungry for the following days as they work on the daily-wage basis.
Having this in their minds, if they still opted for this protest, we can accept how deeply terrifying this must be, for them.

THE FINE-GESTURES OF BOTH SIDES…

While they were walking past midnight, Mumbai residents, walked up to them – offering slippers to some, donating footwear later. Offering water, food and care. Along with them, a truck was made to go which was carrying water and they even stopped to make their own food. The farmers are indeed surprised and satisfied that those living in urban areas understand the plight of the farmers.

While they were laving from Thane towards Azad Maidan, they were showered with flowers.After going through all this, when they could have easily interrupted the traffic of whole city, they still looked up for the convenience of daily-commuters especially students who were to write their exams this morning that they should not be interrupted on their way.

PROTEST CALLED OFF AFTER…

It is a sigh of relief that the Chief Minister has declared that after proposing 12-13 demands by the protesters, most of them have been met and that they will be forming a rough draft which will be discussed with the protesters.
Vishnu Savara, Tribal Development Minister of Maharashtra said, “The farmers were demanding that they should be made the owners of the entire land that is cultivated by them. The Chief Minister has agreed.”

The committee which looked into the demands comprised of Maharashtra Minister Chandrakant Patil, Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar, Irrigation Minister Girish Mahajan, Tribal Development Minister Vishnu Savara, state cooperatives minister Subhash Deshmukh and Shiv Sena leader and PWD Minister Eknath Shinde.
It has been notified that a special train would be arranged for all the protesters to go back to their homes and we hope that within the stipulated time period given, the demands are met.

Images source : KISAAN MAHASABHA

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