January 12, 2021
In the courtyard of struggle, Custodians of food build life in trolley cart
New Delhi: In this historic farmers’ struggle, trolleys cover much of a farmer’s life. The tractors, which were once used for ploughing and cultivating crops in agricultural activities, have now been repurposed into live-in trolleys to house protesting farmers.
The trolleys have played a significant role at the Singhu border, Tikri Border, and Daruhera border sites, which have witnessed a great struggle. Farmers are using both trolleys and tents at Shahjahanpur, Ghaziapur, and Chilla (Noida Gate).
At various protest sites, the protesters and supporters have transformed their trolleys into their homes and changed the interior of their trolleys to suit their needs. Re-purposing them to face the cold, strong winds and rain has been a tedious task, despite which the farmers have built good trolleys.
Those staying the trolleys have equipped it with electric lights, a charging facility, bedding, and blankets. Thick tarpaulins have been attached outside to prevent air from entering the makeshift home. Wooden stairs have been made to help climb and descend the trolley, and they are attached to the tractors.
In some trolleys, first, the paddy grass has been laid out in place of the bed. On top of the grass, a bed made of tarpaulin is laid which is then followed by bedsheets. This provides warmth. The farmers say that they rest periodically. The trolleys are also built to be sturdy to ensure the safety of children and women.
The trolleys that are built on the tractors are not hollow, but sturdy in nature. We have noticed that the tractors here are similar to Lorries. People say that they are looking after their tractors like a member of their household.
Similar to worshiping God, farmers here also worship their tractors daily.
The farmers spoke from their heart and said, “Tractors are an important part of our agricultural life on the farm, and they have not left our hand even during this historic struggle. Here, they are working to provide us with makeshift homes while we protest”, they said.
They will accompany us to showcase our strength during the Tractor March rehearsal on January 7, and also be a part of the historic Tractor Rally, which will be held on January 26 for Republic Day.
Thousands of tractors are already coming to Delhi from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Kerala. Farmers believe that these aren’t merely their tractor, or trolleys, but also their Saati (companion) of their lives.