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Sunday, January 17, 2021

On National Farmers’ Day, a woman farmer opens up on protesting at Delhi border

'Humans of Bombay' spoke to Sarabjeet, a woman farmer protesting against the centre's agricultural laws at Delhi's Singhu Border area, about the protests against the farm laws and more. 

Farmers have been protesting at the Delhi borders since November 26 against the centre’s agricultural laws. Today, on Kisan Diwas or National Farmers’ Day which is observed every year on December 23 to honour Chaudhary Charan Singh on his birth anniversary,  ‘Humans of Bombay’ spoke to Sarabjeet, a woman farmer protesting against the centre’s agricultural laws at Delhi’s Singhu Border area, about the protests against the farm laws and more. 

“We don’t want to fight, we just want to be heard,” says Sarabjeet. “I’ve dedicated my whole life to kheti (farming).”

Sarabjeet is the only girl among four children, and her father insisted that she accompany him to their farms rather than cooking at home.

She continued working after her marriage and contributed the money she made to run the household.

I did everything – from sowing the seeds to cultivating the harvest,” says Sarabjeet.  “Sometimes it rains, sometimes pests destroy our crops, but we continue to toil.”

She says, “when the farm bills were passed without taking us, the farmers, into consideration, I wasn’t going to sit at home and do nothing.”

Despite Sarabjeet’s son’s reservation, she made sure to arrive at the Singhu Border a week after the protests began.  

Sarabjeet says that every evening at the protest site, farmers come together to sing Punjabi folk songs. Even the police joined their celebrations on Gurupurab.

“They aren’t wrong, beta – woh apni roti ke liye yahan hai aur hum apni roti ke liye (The police are not wrong, beta – they are here because it’s their duty and we are here because it’s ours),” she says.

“We barely earn, but we fill your plates with food everyday. I understand that money is important; everyone wants to earn it. But beta, money doesn’t satiate your hunger, our grains do. I won’t leave until we’re heard, until we win,” she adds.

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