In a heartwarming gesture, a 35-year-old man from Uttar Pradesh has been providing sweaters and jackets for free to farmers protesting at the Singhu border in harsh, cold weather conditions.
Shakeel Mohammed Qureshi sets up his roadside stall every day at 8 AM. He sells locally-manufactured warm clothes for free to the farmers who have been protesting at the Delhi-Haryana border against the Centre’s three new farm laws.
Qureshi, whose father is a farmer in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district, has given away at least 300 clothes — jackets and sweaters — for free to the protesting farmers in Delhi. Earlier, Qureshi earned a profit of around Rs 2,500 daily on average, by selling winter wear.
Qureshi lives in Narela in north Delhi with his wife and children.
“My father is a farmer, too, so I know that their life is very tough. Farmers don’t ask for much from the government, except a fair price for their produce,” The New Indian Express quoted Qureshi as saying.
“This is my contribution to a good cause. That’s all,” he added, not willing to talk about the price.
Several NGOs and individuals have been extending their help to the farmer by organising community kitchens, distributing items of daily need, and setting up medical camps. Many have volunteered to clean utensils, collect garbage, charge mobile phones, wash clothes etc.
Farmers are protesting as they are afraid there will be a drop in their income due to the three laws. They fear that the laws will make them susceptible to exploitation from corporate houses.
However, the Centre claims that the laws will help eliminate middlemen, as farmers will be able to sell their produce wherever they wish.
The deadlock has not yet ended, despite several rounds of talks between the protesting farmers and the Centre. Farmer groups have refused to accept anything short of the three laws being scrapped.