From Ferozepur to Singhu on bicycle

Gurwinder Singh with his bicycle at the Singhu border on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Hemani Bhandari

Gurwinder Singh rode 420 km for four days on his bicycle and reached Delhi-Haryana’s Singhu border on Monday night. The 29-year-old from Ferozepur said he considers this protest a place of worship.

Around 2.30 p.m. on December 18, Gurwinder, a daily wage labourer, began cycling to the Capital, covering himself in a sweater, a hoodie and a thick shawl traditionally called loi. “We have one bike at home but there are two others who drive it and there are also little children. For their needs, the vehicle should be there. Buses and trains would have been expensive. So, I sat on my cycle and started,” he said.

Gurwinder wanted to join the protest as early as the fifth day, but was caught in other engagements like setting up tents for weddings. He also had to convince his family.

“My wife asked me why I need to go. I told I have to go no matter what. Then finally, my father intervened and allowed me,” he said.

Back home, his 11-month-old twin sons Gurnoor and Harnoor await him. But he explained the reason he set out to the protest site. “Wherever there is ‘sangat’ [huge groups of people], the presence of Sikh Gurus Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh is felt. I don’t have land. I work for people who are farmers. I had to come here and mark my presence,” he said.

Night halts

Every day, he rode till about 10-11p.m. On the first day, he reached Ludhiana and spent the night at a petrol pump. “I’ll never forget the night in my life. It was so cold and I only had a loi to cover myself. At one point, I also thought that I should go back home,” he said.

The second day, he reached a place in Ambala were langar sewa was under way. He ate and slept at the same place. However, Gurwinder was spotted by a group of people travelling to the Singhu border.

‘Carrying flag’

“They spotted me because of the flag I was carrying. They stopped, gave me a blanket and a little cash which I spent for meals at dhabas. I also bought a pair of socks,” he said.

On the third day, he reached Karnal where he spent a night outside a shop and around 9 p.m. on day four [Monday], he reached the border. Gurwinder plans to head back home on Wednesday and will reach by weekend – on his bicycle, which is his companion back home as well.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 8:07:09 PM |

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