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A ‘tent city’ comes up at the Singhu border

A view of temporary shelters (Tent City) at a petrol filling station for protesting farmers who are protesting on new farm law issue, at Singhu Border, in New Delhi on Thursday .   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

With the mercury dipping in the national capital, a “tent city” has come up inside a petrol pump at the Singhu border to provide accommodation to the farmers who are protesting against the three controversial agriculture laws.

Also read | Voices of protest: what farmers have to say

Rows of green and grey tents — the colour codes indicating the varied capacity of the tents — have been set up to provide relief from the cold wave to hundreds of farmers who are reaching Delhi each day.

Currently, around 150 waterproof and wind-proof tents with the capacity to accommodate nearly 500 people have been installed.

The insulated tents were brought in when several farmers got drenched in rain last Saturday, said Jatin Singh, one of the managing team members for the arrangements.

“After it rained early in the morning last Saturday, it was decided that these tents would be brought in to provide shelter to those protesting over here. Blankets and mattresses come with the tents itself. While some of the tents can accommodate up to five people, there are a few others which can accommodate around 2-3 people,” Mr. Singh said.

Watch | Why are the farmers protesting?

While a “check-in” time of 6 p.m. has been set, women and children can take up the accommodation at any point of time, Mr. Singh said.

“This facility is primarily for those who do not have their own trolleys and tractors where they can rest and spend the nights. We noticed that there are several people who reach the border late evening or in the night. The tent city will help them get immediate accommodation. However, those who have other alternatives will be requested to leave in the mornings so that others can also be accommodated,” explained Mr. Singh.

The tents are being provided by an NGO, Hemkunt Foundation, which is supported by the sangat (community), Mr. Singh added.

Lovedeep Singh, a student of Patiala University, who has begun volunteering at the tent city said, “I reached the border five days back with my mother and sister and we have been camping here since then. All kinds of facilities, including water and sanitation facilities, have been provided out here at the petrol pump itself.”

Residents of two villages in Sirsa — Gudiakhera and Dhukra — have arranged to send blankets and quilts as reinforcements to those braving the harsh winter and continuing the agitation.

Suresh Dhaka, a resident of Dhukra and a volunteer at the protest site said, “Around 10 days back, the decision to send blankets for the protesters was taken by the panchayat. The blankets will be distributed among the agitating farmers, specially to those who are the needy ones. People of Sirsa are contributing in whatever manner possible. While some are sending wheat and milk, others have sent medicines. Around 150 blankets will be distributed on Thursday.”

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 12:20:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/a-tent-city-comes-up-at-the-singhu-border/article33356915.ece

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