Farmers harvest wheat of those still at protest sites, take crop to mandis

Farmers harvest wheat of those still at protest sites, take crop to mandis

In the ongoing wheat harvesting season when every Punjab farmer’s priority is to harvest crop and take it to the mandi to sell to government agencies at assured Minimum Support Price (MSP), Sukhminder Singh is sitting at the Tikri border without any worry about harvesting the wheat on his five acres at his native village Jhumba in Bathinda district.

“I am focusing on dharna while my fellow farmers are taking care of my harvesting and they will also take it to the mandi too. They are giving every update of my crop on daily basis for the past two weeks,” he said.

At Jhumba village, the leaders of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Ugrahan have arranged everything including labour, tractor trolley and a combine harvester for harvesting his crop, which began Monday.

“Sukhminder alongwith four more farmers of our village is currently sitting on dharna in Delhi. We went to their families recently and asked them to not to worry about harvesting. They also gave us a free hand. We are getting the crops of all five harvested one by one. We will also take it to the mandi for selling,” said BKU Ugrahan leader Jagsir, adding, “We, a group of 10-12 farmers have arranged this harvesting. We will also do the labour work if required during harvesting.”

He further said: “At some places, the wheat crop got flattened due to wind storm recently and such crop could not be carried in the harvester. So here we do labour work, cut flattened crop and put it in the harvester to get the grain. The rent of the harvester and tractor trolley used to carry his crop to mandi will be borne by the farmer while the rest of the services like loading and cutting we are providing like a fraternity member.”

The crop of farmer Amrik Singh of Talwandi Napana village in Ferozepur district is also being harvested by an activist of Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (PKMSC), Baljinder Singh. Amrik has been at the protest site on Delhi border for the past over two weeks.

Farmer Gurdev Singh of Fatehgarh Panjoor village in Moga too has asked PKMSC to manage the harvesting of his crop as he was busy in Delhi dharna.

“When we had come to participate in this protest from Punjab our crops were just getting germinated and today they were harvested and sold in mandis and we are still fighting for our rights,” said Gurdev Singh, adding that he is happy this has created a lot of trust among farmers at village level.

Farmer Khayala Singh has also told BKU leader to take care of his crop. “Some of our fellow farmers have taken this responsibility of harvesting and they have returned to take care of it while we are protesting here as all of us cannot leave the protest at the same time, so we have been doing it in turns,” he said.

“We are getting crop of 5-10 farmers harvested every day. We are also taking the crop to the mandis,” said Baljinder Singh, adding that this system has been helping them keep the protest strong as well by enhancing the feeling of brotherhood among farmers.

Activists of BKU Dakaunda are also managing the harvesting of some farmers sitting at the border. Even in some villages the sarpanches have also offered their services to the protesting farmers.

Sarpanch Kulwinder Singh of Bolina village in Jalandhar said: “Whenever any help is sought from us, we will be at their disposal.”

Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary, BKU Ugrahan, said: “Our organisation has already decided that the farmers who are sitting in Delhi, their crop will be harvested by the activists of our organisation and in every village of 16 districts where we have units. Our activists as well as farm labourers are getting it done. We have also decided to take care of other important works of our protesting farmers.”

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