The 6-day-long march by protesting farmers in Maharashtra might not have found adequate space in our English national dailies, but it sure did worm its way into the hearts of Mumbaikars.
While thousands of farmers march on with blistered feet and bleeding wounds, Mumbai’s individuals, resident welfare associations, Sikh groups and political parties welcomed them with food, footwear and flowers.
The city’s famed dabbawalas were among the saviours who came to the rescue of those thousands of farmers by providing them with food and water.
"We thought about helping the farmers with food as they are our food-providers and have come from remote parts of the state." - Subhash Talekar, Spokesperson, Mumbai Dabbawala Association
Almost 35,000 farmers walked a stretch of 180 kms from Nashik to Mumbai to demand loan waivers, the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, updated land records, and better crop prices.
En route to Mumbai’s Azad Maidan, the farmers were accompanied by a truck with food supplies, that was refilled by local residents along the Nashik-Mumbai highway, as per a report by Scroll.
Kisan Gujar, State President of the All India Kisan Sabha told Scroll:
"Since yesterday there has been so much help that an entire truck we had brought is still full of food and will last us another four days."
Struggling in the blazing heat, when the farmers entered Mumbai, various groups distributed water, dates, and biscuit packets. To quench their thirst, resident welfare associations asked for more water tankers.
Today early morning, large groups of civilians waiting at roads greeted the #FarmersMarchToMumbai with water, dates & biscuits, to which peasants reciprocated with loud slogans of Lal Salaam. pic.twitter.com/tYU1IVblCW— AIKS (@KisanSabha) March 12, 2018
The Sikh community also distributed food to the participating farmers.
According to Mumbai Mirror, there were voluntary groups who called for people to donate footwear for the farmers’ aching feet.
Several political parties like the Congress, the NCP, the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have extended their support to the protesting farmers.
(With inputs from PTI)
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