The farmers participating in the ongoing movement in the borders of Delhi are living for the last sixty-seven days in their own makeshift tents set up in their trolleys. Those farmers who are joining the protest from other parts of the country are housed in a place called ‘tent city’. There are several tent cities across the Delhi borders which are providing shelter for those who are coming to the borders in solidarity with the protesting farmers.
The farmers have been protesting for last sixty-seven days against the infamous anti-farmer laws of the current government. The farmers are organising shelters for those coming in solidarity with them. They are letting people stay in their trolleys, tents and tractors. The increasing number of people at the protest sites has made it necessary for these ‘tent cities’. These cities are well known for the services that they provide.
A social service organisation by the name Hemkunt Foundation has stood up in support with the movement. The Foundation has built these tent cities in Singhu, Chilla, Gajipur and Tikri borders. Women and children in a large number stay in these cities. Even men can stay here but, as men are all camping on their tractors, the preference in these cities is being given to women.
The accommodation provided here is free of cost. One may stay as long as they wish to. We have to just provide them with any of our identification document and it is used as evidence for us living there. Anyone who is alone is provided with a single tent; there also are tents suitable for two, also for families and larger groups. Every tent has a bed and mattress and are provided with two blankets. If the temperatures drop every tent is provided with extra blankets. These tent cities are all guarded by groups of young men who work in shifts.
According to the volunteers here there were very few people living here to begin with. The number of people staying in these cities has been increasing as the time is passing by and there is an increase in the inflow of people from different states and the tent cities are getting full. There also is an increase in the groups assigned to provide security. The volunteers speaking to Gauri Media team told us, “since the number of residents has been exponentially increasing we are not taking responsibility for their personal belongings and even then the numbers are not dropping. We have a great many numbers of tents but there is no place to set them up. The protest sites are all filled up.” People staying here include students of Punjab University, women farmers from Tamil Nadu and protesters from Maharashtra.
First published in naanugauri.com and was translated by Yogesh S