How women farmers are the backbone of the anti-farm law protests: In conversation with Jasbeer Kaur of Punjab Kisan Union

Protesting for nearly a fortnight now, Jasbeer states that it takes a certain amount of work to provide for the protestors, as well as manage all the farming work back home. The lack of numerous women at the protest sites is simply a marker of the fact that they are ensuring things continue running smoothly back home even as the protest continues.

Bhumika Saraswati December 10, 2020 19:38:46 IST

"The trolleys you see here, all of them have ration. This ration has been collected by our women-sisters themselves. They went door to door in the village to collect rations. They gave the collected ration to our companions," says Jasbeer Kaur, 60, a protestor from the Punjab Kisan Union on the pivotal role the women of Punjab have to play in the protest.

Protesting for nearly a fortnight now, Jasbeer states that it takes a certain amount of work to provide for the protestors, as well as manage all the farming work back home. The lack of numerous women at the protest sites is simply a marker of the fact that they are ensuring things continue running smoothly back home even as the protest continues.

"If our farming desolates and our financial state gets ruined, then our women will be the first one to be affected by these factors, our homes will come under poverty and our kids will be jobless," she said.

There are also more people coming in to join the protests, she added. "We are doing all of this in rotation. People who have been here for a long time are going and new ones are coming."

On 9 December, following another round of miserably failed talks, the farmers announced plans to "gherao Delhi" by closing the Delhi-Jaipur and Delhi-Agra highways, a boycott of Reliance malls and to block the toll plazas.

By 14 December, there will be a full-scale protest across the country, the farmers' groups said at a press conference at the Singhu border.

The protesting farmers have been demanding that the government should repeal the three new farm laws, which according to them, would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the APMC mandis. Meanwhile, the Centre has agreed only to provide written MSP assurance, alongside amendments to several laws. A repeal, however, seems out of the question for now.

The farmers on their part, have also made it clear that they will continue the protests until the three farm laws are repealed.

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