Manmeet Singh Gill
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, January 20
It will be an arduous journey of 18 hours from Amritsar to the national capital, covering over 400 km, and some farmers will be able to afford travelling in their tractors for the parade to be held on January 26, while some won’t!
But they have all the backing they need from farm unions, who have announced to give Rs5,000 for fuel. A huge cavalcade of tractor-trailers would meet at the Golden Gate on January 23. The large caravan would proceed to Delhi after paying tributes to the great freedom fighter — Subhas Chandra Bose — on his birth anniversary.
Rattan Singh Randhawa, district president of Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, said: “Preparations are under way in villages for the January 26 tractor parade and people are carrying out rehearsals of the event in their villages. We expect that a large cavalcade will leave for Delhi.”
They said they plan to reach well in advance, so that they get time in case hurdles are created on the way at the last moment. While most of the farmers are making their own arrangements by pooling in money, farmers’ organisations said there were many marginal and small farmers who cannot contribute financially and need help.
“The mood is upbeat in villages. Everyone wants to join the protest, but sometimes people have financial constraints. The announcement is just to make sure that nobody is forced to stay back for lack of money,” said Randhawa, adding that the announcement has been made by all organisations and philanthropists are helping for the cause.
The Jamhoori Kisan Sabha leader said they have sent 24 jathas to Delhi so far. “One jatha left for Delhi on Wednesday and it had five trailers. Ours is the one of 32 farmer associations and everyone is working.” Randhawa said a trailer can comfortably ferry around 12-15 persons.
Lakhbir Singh Nizapura, president, Vegetable Growers’ Association, said rehearsals were under way in most of the villages, as discipline during the tractor parade was of foremost concern. He said farmers were being made aware about the important aspects such as staying in their row and not creating traffic jams.
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