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A speaker addresses women at Singhu border, 8 March, 2021.

(Photo: The Quint)

Here for Children’s Future: Scores of Women Farmers Join Protests

Marking International Women’s Day as ‘Mahila Kisan Diwas’, many of these farmers travelled from Haryana and Punjab.

2 min read

“Je aj awaz nai uthai te saada bhavikh nai bachna...agli peedi saanu buzdil/kayar kahegi. (Our future will cease to exist if we don't raise our voice now, and future generations would call us cowards),” said 35-year-old Baljeet Kaur from Amritsar at the Singhu border, as thousands of women farmers gathered at the protest sites in Delhi on Monday, 8 March.

Marking International Women’s Day as ‘Mahila Kisan Diwas’, many of these farmers travelled from Haryana and Punjab.

“We are homemakers. It doesn't suit a housewife to agitate on streets, but what to do? These farm laws will destroy our future and it is the responsibility of every single person to fight for the future, irrespective of gender,” Baljeet said, as quoted by IANS.

She has been protesting at Singhu along with her husband and in-laws for over three months.

The farmers’ protest sites at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur saw women taking over the stage and being brought to the forefront to mark International Women’s Day. Pictures and visuals from the protest sites showed thousands of women being addressed by female speakers.

‘Been Helping the Movement From the Backstage’

“We work on the backstage... for this protest. From cooking meals to cleaning up the area, we do everything,” 41-year-old Gursharan Kaur from Hoshiyarpur, who has been present at Singhu for over 90 days told IANS.

Gursharan has two teenage children who are at home. When asked how they have been managing, she said: “Their parents are fighting for their future. The least they can do is look after themselves.”

55-year-old Shanti Dhillon from Mahendragarh, Haryana, who has been at the protest site for 60 days told IANS that more than half of the women of her village have joined their families at Singhu.

“Look at it this way. Our fooding and lodging is supported by the community here. So basically, we are saving our expenses on food and electricity. If the strategy of the government is to prolong the agitation and exhaust our spirits, then they are on the wrong track,” she said.

On Saturday, 6 March, farmers carried out a five-hour peaceful blockade to mark the 100th day of protests against the three new farm laws.

Thousands of farmers, a majority of whom are Sikh and from northern states of India, have been agitating against the introduction of the controversial farm bills, since September 2020.

These protests are being held at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur sites. Farmers all across the country have decided to hold protests against the Centre until the laws are repealed.

(With inputs from IANS and PTI.)

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