Delhi

At 85, this protester from Punjab polishes shoes at Singhu border

Come rain or shine: The 85-year-old protester, Nachhatar Singh, polising a shoe at the Singhu border in Delhi on Monday.  

Nachhatar Singh, an 85-year-old protester from Ludhiana, has been polishing shoes for the past month at the Sindhu border.

He has been stationed at the protest site since November 26 and his family is calling him back home. They are worried because of his age.

‘Will make a century’

Yet, Mr. Singh’s resolve is undeterred. “85 ka hun, century maarke jaunga [I am 85 and will complete a century], he said with a smile.

Every day, Mr. Singh sits inside a tent where protesters come to clean their shoes. His designation is “Chief Maintenance Officer” while others in the tent are called “Shoes Maintenance Officers”. With visible enthusiasm, he polishes the shoes of his “customers” and is proud to be using an “organic” polish.

“I don’t have a phone nor does anyone else in my family. I call on our neighbour’s number and they make me talk to my wife. She asks me to come home. I tell her that I won’t — very strictly. My son also says that I should come back but I have told him that I am doing my job and he should do his,” he said.

Mr. Singh said he also celebrated his grandson Dilawar Singh’s birthday here behind the main stage on February 9 when he was visiting.

For him, the protest started three months before November 26 because they were all carrying out rallies in their villages on two-wheelers. “When we came to Delhi, we thought it was only a two-day event but because of the government, we are still here,” he said.

‘All for my children’

Mr. Singh, who is fully aware of the new farm laws, said he is protesting for his children’s safe future.

“I only have 1.5 acres of land. I don’t want my children to beg,” he said.

He walks 2 km for the job and the same distance back to the tents where he is lodging along with the tractors from his village.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 11:32:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/at-85-this-protester-from-punjab-polishes-shoes-at-singhu-border/article33966510.ece

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