Miles To Go Before We Sleep: Farmers March to Delhi With Demands

Miles To Go Before We Sleep: Farmers March to Delhi With Demands

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Video Editor: Mohd irshad Alam

Hundreds of protesting farmers marched towards Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on 29 November, demanding that their issues be raised and resolved. The rally was organised by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), in collaboration with more than 200 other farmers’ groups.

What are the Farmers’ Demands?

  • Increased MSP
  • Joint session of the Parliament to discuss two bills
  • Debt-free, suicide-free farmers
  • Implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee report
“Farmers are distressed. They are not even getting the bare minimum out of their produce. Farmers must get an increased MSP, and farmer loans waived.”
Yogendra Yadav, Convener, Swaraj India

'Increase MSP on Produce'

The distressed farmers told The Quint that after four years, the Modi-led government at the Centre has hardly done anything to fulfil the promises made to them.

Farmers claimed that failed harvests have pushed them to the brink, forcing them to borrow money at high interest rates to buy seeds, fertilisers and food for their cattle.

“On selling vegetable for Rs 20/kg, we get only Rs 2/kg. How will I feed my children?”
Champa, Farmer, West Bengal

'Our Loans Not Waived'

Family members of deceased farmers participating in the march carried photographs of their relatives who committed suicide.

“Production of paddy was affected. Only input cost was provided by the government. Our losses and loans are not waived.”
Loknath, Farmer, Odisha

‘We Don't Even Get Loan from Banks'

Another farmer told The Quint that the loans are skyrocketing. She pays her tractor’s loan from what she makes from her crop. However, if the crop fails, she doesn’t get insurance or any sort of compensation for her crop. According to her, all the government schemes are a ‘cover’ for the insurance companies to earn profit.

“We want the right price for our produce. We want our loans to be waived. It is very difficult to even get loans.”
Ajay, Farmer, Haryana

'We Will Not Stop'

The farmers also want a special Parliament session to discuss two Bills – Farmers’ Freedom from Indebtedness Bill, 2018, and Farmers’ Right to Guaranteed Remunerative Minimum Support Prices for Agricultural Commodities Bill, 2018. They have vowed not to stop till their demands are met.

“We have been walking for three and a half hours. Our legs are hurting, but we won’t stop. We will walk till we reach Ramlila Maidan.”
Farmer

The farmers will stage a mass protest on 30 November to send their message across to the government. They will walk from Ramlila Maidan to the Parliament Street to demand a Joint Session of Parliament to discuss the agrarian crisis in India.

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