They provide water packets, food, first-aid and directions to the milling crowd

The peaceful protests at Ramlila Maidan and earlier outside the Tihar Central Jail over the past few days would not have sustained without the volunteers. They have worked hard to provide water packets, food, first-aid and directions to thousands of supporters of the protest against corruption being led by Anna Hazare.

“I almost collapsed last time when I came in support of Anna so I have decided to serve juice to whomever I can,” said Adil, a retired railway employee, who has been distributing lemon juice made at his home since Friday.

“I was right here, distributing biscuit packets when Baba Ramdev was chased off last time, and I ran like crazy. I can run again, with my biscuits,” quipped Thukaram, who distributes biscuits whenever people protest for a cause. “I can't afford to feed all these people but I buy a certain amount and offer it to people who look tired or who I see around for a long time, especially those who look like villagers,” he said.

There are also volunteers who look after small things, which if overlooked, can escalate into something bigger and nasty.

Then, there are groups of college students which have volunteered to distribute water packets. “All we do is drive around the grounds in our jeep all day and drop off these packets at pre-designated places,” they said. Yet another group goes around carrying a plastic container seeking donations from the protesters. “This money is being ploughed back into providing the services here,” they say.

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