In Solidarity: Students, Ex-Armymen, Doctors Join Farmers’ Protest
In a show of solidarity for the hands that feed the country, scores of students, doctors, ex-army men and singers turned up at New Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan ahead of the protesting farmers on Thursday, 29 November.
Mamun Rashid, a doctor from AIIMS Delhi who was at the protest, told The Quint that that the medical practitioners will offer health services free of cost at a camp.
The facility has been organised by Dr Harjit Singh Bharti, AIIMS, ex-president of Resident Doctor's association. All the doctors at the camp are volunteers.
“For our farmers we are providing free health check-ups, medicines and basic treatment so that we can treat as many farmers as we can right here at the ground. They have come from so far. We will try to do as much as we can,” Rashid said.
Students and professors from the Delhi University (DU) and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) also arrived at the Ramlila Maidan on Thursday evening.
Talking to The Quint, students from DU’s St Stephens college pointed out that lending support to farmers at this hour should not be any less than a moral obligation.
“I come from a family of farmers. The problem in my area is that farmers are not getting a good market. They are forced to sell their produce for a lower price, and that’s why they are making losses. What is happening is that people are giving up farming. It's sad," said Saurav, a student.
Sharmishtha Ranawat, another student from the Delhi University, said, “All this while we have studied and debated politics in class, but we always wondered whether all that debate really made sense. If you do not come forward and influence the ground reality, being a drawing room activist doesn't really make sense.”
“This is what compelled us to mobilise DU for farmers, " Ranawat told The Quint.
Students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University at the Ramlila Maidan said that this was a call from the farmers of country to join the protest.
Welcoming the farmers ahead of their protest, a bhangra (Punjabi dance fom) performance was organised by Army Ex-Servicemen’s Association, which is led by Major General Satbir Singh.
A group of army veterans also participated in the protest to show their support for the farmers.
Hawaldar Raghubir Singh, who had served in the Kumaon Regiment, has been protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for over 1,200 days over the implementation of the One Rank One Pension promise made by the Centre.
“A soldier is always a farmer’s son, not a politician's son. It is a farmer’s son who goes on to become a soldier. Our country is dear to us more than our lives. We can put our life at stake for our country,” Raghubir Singh told The Quint.
While others waited for the protesters at the venue, another group, called Artists For Farmers, joined in by distributing biscuits while the farmers were marching towards Ramlila Maidan.
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