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Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Living in penury, widows contribute to protests

Parvesh Sharma

Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 7

The anger against central farm laws runs so deep that despite living in penury, families of farmers who had committed suicide due to debt are sending flour, ghee and other ration items from their limited stock for protests at Delhi border.

Chhajli village resident Baldev Kaur (60) has seen four such deaths — that of her husband, two sons and a brother-in-law — and now the family has no adult male member. She stays with her widowed daughters-in-law amid serious financial problems. However, this has not deterred her from contributing for protesting farmers.

"We have given flour, sugar, ghee from our limited stock as it is our fight. Four members of my family have gone only because of debt and the two acres of land that we are left with is the only source of our livelihood. However, after the implementation these black laws, we fear we will lose our meager income too. I have come back from the Delhi protest two days back and will go there again on Wednesday," she said.

Sharnjit Kaur (35) — whose husband, too, committed suicide due to debt — has been looking after her three children on her own. She, too, fears that the farm laws would snatch away her only source of income.

"Even after selling our crop on MSP, we are not able to pay off our debt. If private players purchase our crops on lower rates, we will not be able to recover even our daily expenses," she said.

There are many such families which are under immense stress as they feel that after losing their sole breadwinners, they would have to face more problems due to these new laws

"Things are getting worse for us as earlier my father committed suicide, leaving back a debt of Rs 10 lakh. With our hard work, we paid off Rs 4 lakh in the last three years. But, if the government stops purchasing our crops, how will we pay off our debt?" questioned Makhan Singh, a young farmer from Sunam.

"There are many families who are in dire straits but they are leaving no stone unturned to contribute towards the protest," said Pala Singh, a BKU Ugrahan leader.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/36QPUet

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