National

Women power across the divide at Tikri

A girl holding a Bharatiya Kisan Union flag at the Tikri border on Women's Day on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

On International Women’s Day which was celebrated with much fanfare at the Tikri border herre, there were women protesters on one side and women security officials on the other — and both honouring the day in their own way.

On Monday, women took over the stage at the protest site and the crowd too was filled with women. They took pride in their involvement and believed that this fight demanding repeal of the farm laws cannot be won without their support.

A 19-year-old BA first year student Komaldeep Kaur from Faridkot — volunteering on the stage — said she had been at the protest site since November 26 and recently took her examinations online from there itself.

“College has opened back home but this is more important than studies right now. If you look at history, there’s no struggle that has been won without women. And if we demand equal rights, then we should be here in equal numbers too,” she said. The young woman has faced problems at the site — especially during her periods — but insisted that these issues are very minor in front of the broader fight, she said.

Her friend Paviter Kaur Preet, also 19, and another first year college student, said one thing that the protest had done was to make leaders out of women.

“Those women who hadn’t seen beyond four walls of their house have come to the stage and spoken. Young girls like us are in leadership roles here,” she said.

Bhatina’s 22-year-old Preet Dhillon believes that women are the backbone of the protest and if they hadn’t supported the men and let them come here while taking care of the home, kids, and fields back in the villages, the protest wouldn’t have continued.

Talking about the support of fellow women, Rajdeep Kaur, 32, from Barnala — who was on stage duty — said she wouldn’t have been here “free of mind” if her mother-in-law and three young daughters back home hadn’t encouraged her. “My mother-in-law is taking care of the house. If she hadn’t, it would have been tough for me,” she said.

On the other side, while a senior police officer thanked and praised lower rank women security officials for their work, they wished they could voice their concerns. A woman constable, holding a bouquet in her hand, said that on this Women’s Day, they wanted freedom and rest days.

“We have been working without any leave for over three months now. Life has become very tough for women who live in nuclear families without in-laws,” the constable said.

Visibly irritated, another constable said, “Ask those men, who ask us what we do, to swap lives for just one day and do all that we do for a single day — manage kids, home and work”.

The Delhi Police had stopped commuters from crossing past the first barricade till 3 p.m. causing trouble and chaos which eased post afternoon.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 7:43:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/women-power-across-the-divide-at-tikri/article34022569.ece

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