Delhi

No scarcity of food and medicines for protesters

At the Delhi-Haryana’s Singhu border, small collectives of protesting farmers are providing services to all protesters, who they call ‘sangat’. At least three mid-level langar services, a group providing medicines and a gol-gappa vendor selling for free were committed to service on humanitarian grounds.

There is no dearth of food at the Singhu border and no one will remain empty stomach during the protest — farmers stand by the statement. From rice, vegetables and chapatis to sweets, fruits and tea, there’s nothing one won’t find at regular intervals. However, apart from the larger langar service being offered by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee and smaller kitchens where food is being prepared outside almost every tractor, there are at least three langar services offering food to people.

Narpinder Singh (35), one of the many who are cooking for one of the services, said that this is all about devotion and that their religion teaches to serve. “If Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes, we will serve him too. Maximum people should be able to eat,” he said.

Sunny Singh Ahluwalia, an orthopaedic from Mohali who was cooking aloo paranthas, said that the reason of this service is to maximise the number of people being fed. “There are some people who hesitate to go to the larger langar service, so there is an option for them to come here and eat,” he said.

Dr. Ahluwalia – who claimed that his wife has asked him not to return till farmers’ demands are met – said that people are coming out together on humanitarian grounds and there is an endless supply to meet their requirements. “We don’t even know who’s bringing what but milk, water, sugar, vegetables are being delivered. The power of humanity is such that half-an-hour ago, all of us who are cooking together now, did not know each other’s names, but we are together like a family,” he said.

At another langar service, Paramjit Singh Pumma showed a truck full of flour and said that all at least 50 people eat here every half-an-hour. He and about 10 others cooking with him served kheer, mix vegetable, and chapatis. “Most factory workers are eating here only,” he said.

A few steps ahead, a few men served Punjabi delicacy sarson saag and makki roti, followed by halwa and jalebi.

Apart from first aid and ambulance service by Khalsa Aid and the DSGMC, a group of protesting farmers sat on the street and offered medicines for common diseases. “People here complain of cough, cold, fever and body pain. We are offering medicines,” said Sukhdeep Singh, from Ropar, refusing to share how much have they spent from their pockets. “This is all for a good cause,” he said.

Manjeet Singh, a chemist in Punjab, who is the mind behind the set-up, said, “Old people are camping here in the cold. Cold and cough become common,” he said.

Ahead on the stretch was 20-year-old Ram Milan from U.P.’s Kanpur, who is a resident of Kundli, serving free gol gappas to kids.

More tents have been set up for people to sit and sleep in as the crowd swells.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 12:13:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/no-scarcity-of-food-and-medicines-for-protesters/article33243933.ece

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