As farmers’ protest cross 40 days, children, old men battle Delhi rain, cold wave but remain firm

Eight rounds of inconclusive talks with the government have failed to end the deadlock with farmers even as the ongoing agitation at Delhi’s borders cross 40 days. The farmers are now battling the harsh weather in Delhi with unseasonal rain and thunderstorms wreaking their makeshift tents.

Unseasonal rain has disrupted the makeshift camps of farmers at Delhi’s Singhu border as the agitation entered 41 days on Tuesday. Despite rough weather and a further drop in mercury levels, the farmers continue to protest against the farm laws.

Most of the camp sites at Singhu border now look like a swamp. Waterlogging in many pockets and tents have been affected by the rains.

Their day begins with cleaning the road for speeches near the stage arena and clear the waterlogged roadside near their tents. Most of the farmers are sheltered in tractors but those who are living in the makeshift camps have been worst-affected.

Their beds have been wetted by the rain and the cold wave has made their days even difficult, but they are determined for the cause and continue to fight against the government on farm laws.

Sukhvinder Singh who is camping with his grandson at the Singhu border for the past 20 days says his bed is now wet and he is concerned about his 6-year-old grandson Sukhpreet.

But he still Sukhvinder said, “Cold and rain can’t deter us, we are farmers and no weather can affect the lives of farmers. We are here till out demands not met.”

Narendra Chaudhary, a farmer leader who hails from Rajasthan’s Bharatpur, said, “This is very painful for all of us but our cause is bigger. Who wants to stay here on the road in this weather, but we have no options. The government will have to roll back the farm laws or we will match to Jantar Mantar with our tractors. God is testing our patience.”

The sudden change in weather has affected women, senior citizen and children the most. Sukhdev Singh, a farmer from Firozpur, has been camping at Singhu border for the past 22 days with his 17-year-old son Anmol Singh. Sukhdev said, “In Punjab, the situation is difficult for us but we are here to fight, our kids are used to such weather.”

Langar services have also been affected by the rainfall over the past few days. Moisture has dampened the wood which are used for cooking. However, Sukhdev Singh has said they have enough stock to survive.

Farmers’ talks with the government have not yielded any results so far. Another round of talks has been scheduled on January 8 although the government has made it clear that they won’t repeal the laws and the farmers have also firm on their stand that they won’t call off the agitation until the farm laws are taken back and the government assures laws on MSP.

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