On menu at farmers’ protest march to Mumbai: Khichadi Bhaat, Pithle, Vaangi Bhaaj

The farmers’ march that commenced on Sunday from Dindori in Nashik district consists principally of landless labourers and tribals sporting plastic slippers and carrying nothing greater than a change of garments and strolling sticks as they protest towards, what they understand to be, improper agrarian insurance policies of the Maharashtra authorities.

The protest, spearheaded by All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), has a 17-point constitution of calls for, together with remunerative costs for onions, cotton, soyabean, tur, inexperienced gram, milk, and hirda. The farmers are in search of Rs 2,000 per quintal for onions, a direct subsidy of Rs 600 per quintal, together with modifications in export insurance policies.

The farmers are in search of Rs 2,000 per quintal for onions, a direct subsidy of Rs 600 per quintal, together with modifications in export insurance policies. (Express photograph)

A lot of the members, together with Surgana resident Himtan Kumar Gaikwad, are veterans of those lengthy marches, having participated in AIKS’s two earlier marches that had been held in 2018 and 2019. Gaikwad claimed that he was pressured to take part within the march given the agrarian misery being confronted by landless farmers in addition to the delay in guaranteeing efficient implementation of the Forest Land Rights Act by the state authorities.

Most of the members who rested at Jindal Ground at Gonde village on Tuesday are self-funded, having introduced alongside their day by day provisions to maintain them in the course of the March that’s anticipated to conclude in Mumbai on March 17.

At this AIKS march, meals are ready by the farmers themselves. At least 200 tempos comprising over 30 members every journey forward of the march, and 5 volunteers take turns to arrange every meal of the day. These tempos have been loaded with all of the important cooking components starting from gasoline cylinders, salt, turmeric, rice, greens, and pulses. All the components have been sponsored by the farmers, who’ve shelled out Rs 100 every.

One of the cooks who ready Tuesday night’s lunch, Dindodi’s Pareshram Manaji Gangode instructed The Indian Express, “Our tempos reach the ground beforehand and cook the meals before all the participants arrive here. We’ve carried our own pulses and vegetables too. It took us 30 minutes to prepare today’s lunch.”

On Tuesday, the lunch was Khichadi Bhaat and Pithle (staple meals from Maharashtra), whereas yesterday it was Vaangi bhaaji and Bhaat (and Rice). “We make sure that we cook meals that are filling yet easy to prepare. For dinner too, we will be cooking Khichadi Bhaat,” stated Suman Bai Gaikwad, who additionally helped in cooking right now’s meal.

A majority of the marching farmers hailed from Surgana. Surgana resident Rama Trambak Mahale, a 70-year-old farmer who works on a land of 5 acres, stated he’s right here to demand the federal government to implement their unfulfilled guarantees. “Back then, we were told that the land would be named after our families. We were even given certificates. But then they only prepared one 7/12 (Revenue land record) for an entire collective of farmers of their entire village.” His demand, like different farmers, has been an unbiased 7/12 be issued to every entitled household.

Standing robust at 60, one other participant is Chandok’s Taibai Pawar, who has been farming over a parcel of 5 acres for the previous 30 years whereas managing a family of 9 members. In addition to the allotment of unbiased 7/12s i.e. handover of farmlands to the farming households, she’s right here to demand the supply of electrical energy, well timed provide of water in addition to a family. “We do not have a supply of drinking water. The women in our Village are compelled to travel far off distances to fetch something as essential as water,” lamented Pawar.

As the march crosses Kasara ghat, extra farmers from neighbouring districts are anticipated to affix the march. Vijay Patil, a AIKS employee, stated, “We inform farmers from each village to join us. As we cross villages, not only do more farmers join, new tempos carrying utensils and grains volunteered by them get added to the march as well.”

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