Behind Shaheen Bagh’s Women, An Army of Students, Doctors & Locals

Shaheen Bagh protests have been without a leader but students, locals and volunteers have helped to sustain it.  

2 min read

Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas, Prashant Chauhan
Camera: Abhishek Ranjan


The anti-CAA-NRC protests in Shaheen Bagh began on 15 December. For the last thirty days, women have been peacefully protesting on the road. Their resistance has inspired many more Shaheen Bagh-like protests to mushroom in Kanpur, Allahabad, Nagpur and Kolkata.

The leaderless movement has been supported by a team of volunteers, locals and students. They work in shifts to provide bedding, food, medicines and security.

Vasundhara, pursuing her Phd in English from Jamia, with her team, looks after the children who accompany their mothers to the protests. They sit outside a store which has been shut due to the protests. Managing the corner that has items such as colours, sheets and pens, she told us:

“The kids who come here with their mothers should creatively engage with something else not just in, you know, ideally shouting on streets, so we engage them in either reading or you know, they come and paint. Sometimes we teach them as well.”

A free medical camp is functional between 2 pm to 11 pm at Shaheen Bagh.

A woman protester had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital with Nazir Ali Khan, a doctor, and his friends. On the same evening, they formed a WhatsApp group, pooled in all their resources, and set up a free medical camp at the protest site the following day.

“My friends and I pooled in our resources for the camp. Some people also made donations. But we don’t ask people for money. When someone expresses their desire to help, we hand them a list of medicines,” Nazir told The Quint.

Khalid, an IT professional and a local, was also present at the protest with a box of Frooti. He has come to the protests for 24 days out of 30. And he makes sure to get biryani, biscuits, snacks and water.

“The special thing about Shaheen Bagh is that whoever comes here, from across the city, they don’t leave hungry,” he said.

Women outside a closed store in Shaheen Bagh. 
(Photo: The Quint/Abhishek Ranjan) 
Anti-CAA protester waves the Indian flag at Shaheen Bagh protests. 
(Photo: The Quint/Abhishek Ranjan) 
A boy wears the Indian flag around his neck and poses for the camera. 
(Photo: The Quint/Abhishek Ranjan) 
Women bring their children to the protests. The 24/7 protest began on 15 December.
(Photo: The Quint/Abhishek Ranjan) 

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