Donations by supporters and sympathisers of farmers at the Singhu border protest site have dipped after January 26 violence, stage management committee members said.
A member, who wishes anonymity, said they were once getting donations amounting to ₹5-7 lakh a day but it has now been reduced to ₹1-2 lakh. “We don’t know the reasons, but the daily expenditure of continuing the protest is more than the donations,” he said.
The member also said that the daily cost of the protest includes the rent of speakers and waterproof tents. “The rent of speakers is ₹25,000 a day and there are over 100 waterproof tents, and their rent is ₹1,000 for one per day,” he said.
The Sanyunkta Kisan Morcha also bears medical expenses of accident cases and sometimes hospital bills if families can’t afford them. “We pay medical bills of people who fall sick here. Recently, we have paid a bill of ₹5.5 lakh for a person who suffered a heart attack,” he said.
Other costs include the waterproof tent at the main stage, which according to the member cost them ₹50 lakh, and carpets that were bought along with it. “Sometimes, we have to buy water in bulk – it costs around ₹50,000. We have also bought tarpaulin worth ₹35-40 lakh, which has been distributed to people,” he said.
Talking about the donation, the member said that people give a part of their salaries in service of people and those who feel for the cause. “There are constant questions on the funding of the protest. This is how the money is raised. All the donations are announced on the stage, even if it is ₹10 or ₹10 lakh,” he said.