New Delhi, Dec 30 (PTI) In the list of facilities available to the farmers camping at the Singhu border point of Delhi, the latest is a tailoring stall, with two sewing machines, catering to the growing stitching needs of the protesters.
From standard clothing alterations such as hemming and sewing to zipper replacement, hole and tear repair, and velcro placement, nothing is out of bounds for Dalbir Singh, a professional tailor from Punjab's Barnala district who is running the stall.
'I had come to the protest site a week ago with my friends. That is when I realised that there is a lot of wear and tear in the clothes people are wearing.
'Later, someone came to my shop in Barnala and said 'stitch my clothes I need to go Delhi for protest'. That is when the idea of opening this stall at Singhu struck us,' said the 38-year-old Singh.
He has found a helping hand in Baljinder Kaur (35) from Ludhiana who until recently sew clothes as a hobby.
Singh said such is the crowd at the stall that he has to struggle to find time even to attend nature's call. It is their second day and the duo have already attended to over 400 people.
But he is not complaining.
'This is sewa and I won't stop till the time the government fulfils the demand of the protesting farmers. I told my wife not to expect me to come back anytime soon. For my shop back home, I have asked my father and brother to take care of it till the time I am here,' said Singh foot-pedalling the sewing machine without a break.
Gurpreet Singh, 40, the man who had met Dalvir at his shop and is the brain behind opening the stall, said he had brought over 300 new zips and now they are hardly left with 10.
Hailing from Jalandhar, Gurpreet, who is a member of 'Guru Sikh Sewa Society', which is also serving langar, said they will soon put up a stall for turbans, muffler, caps and inner-wears for those in need.
The farmers too are happy with the opening of a tailor shop at the protest site.
'Much of the things that we required were already present here. A tailor shop was missing and now we have that too. I guess this would help many people, especially those putting up here for the past one month, to get their clothes in shape,' said Deepjot Bajwa, who had come to fix his ripped jacket.
The protest site already has washing machines, a 'salon sewa' started by a Haryana man, a 'champi parlour' and foot massagers installed by international NGO Khalsa Aid.
Farmers from various parts of the country have been camping at different border points of Delhi for over a month now to demand repeal of the three agri laws, which were voted through in Parliament in September amid strong protests by opposition parties.
The three laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.
The government has repeatedly asserted that the MSP and Mandi systems will stay and has accused the opposition of misleading the farmers. PTI MG NSD