How Social Media Helped Us Provide Medicines to Protesting Farmers
Gursahiba Gill and Gurpreet Bhatti have been providing medical aid to farmers at the Delhi border.
Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
News of the country’s farmers being met with tear gas, water cannons and laathis on their ‘Dilli Chalo’ march a month ago was deeply painful for us to consume. The kind of treatment meted out to our ‘ann-daata’ made us want to lend a helping hand in any way possible.
We had read and heard from people at the protest site in Tikri and Singhu borders that the farmers were carrying food supplies to last them around three months. Around the same time, langar sewa was initiated by multiple organisations and good Samaritans.
However, medicines were something that we felt would be an immediate requirement for thousands of protesting farmers.
On 28 November, we got a list of all the medicines that were required on an urgent basis from Gauravdeep Singh, who was at the Delhi border with farmers.
The next morning, we made a poster that made an appeal to people to contribute. We did not expect it to cause such a stir on social media. We had used WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram as a platform to make a small change. The flyer spread like wildfire.
A lot of powerful platforms picked up our posters, as well as few Punjabi celebrities who were incredible to have shared it. Within the first hour of posting it, we were already receiving contributions.
We were able to reach people in Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Chennai. We did not anticipate this kind of reach at all. Within 24 hours, people from all across made sure that the medicines reached us.
Our medicine collection went way beyond our imagination and calculation, so much so that it was sent out in two batches. A third batch was sent with Gauravdeep Singh and the remainder was sent via Dr Anureet Boparai and her team, who further set up a medical camp with United Sikhs.
We can’t thank enough the people who supported us in conducting the medicine drive successfully. With December’s biting cold, we are planning to organise more relief efforts, so that we can help protesting farmers with blankets, warm clothes and other essentials.
We both feel that it is the bare minimum that we can do. It is something we promise to do till it is possible for us, as a way to let our farmers, our protestors, our agricultural labourers know that people back home have their back.
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