Children join farmers on Delhi’s borders to ring in New Year

Tikri Bhagat Singh, 12, of Buwana village in Haryana’s Jind is among hundreds of other children, who have joined the farmers’ agitation on Delhi’s borders to celebrate the new-year with parents and other farmers.

On Thursday, around 1035pm, Bhagat, along with Aditya Kumar, of Bahu Akbarpur village, and a couple of elderly protesters were using firewood to keep themselves warm near the main stage of the protest site.

The celebrations had been done and dusted in the morning, with young farmers and elderly protesters driving their tractors around the site of their stir, while playing Haryanvi Ragnis (folk songs), with hookah in hand. Some youngsters were seen dancing, while standing on tractor-trolleys. Farmers from Punjab danced near their tents on Punjabi songs.

Bhagat arrived at the Tikri border on Wednesday and says his father Balwant, who owns 3 acre of their ancestral land, has been camping here for 16 days.

“Our family used to celebrate new-year at our village, but this time, my father and I are here. I know little about these laws, but our elders are saying that these will wipe-out the farming community and some businessmen will snatch our land. My father told me that this year, we suffered a huge loss in paddy, because prices have fallen. The government should accept farmers’ demand, otherwise we will also not go back,” Bhagat added.

Kumar, a Class-8 student, said he was proud that as a farmer’s son that he had joined the agitation on eve of the new year.

“We (kids) helped protesters by offering them tea, water, milk, medicine and by doing errands like folding carpets every morning and evening. I have not joined online classes for the past five days. If farming and land is snatched from our parents, from where we will get money for education and food. We have learnt a few slogans here. These are Modi-Khattar Kisan Virodhi (Modi-Khattar Oppose Farmers), Sadda Haq Ethe Rakh (Hand over our rights) and a few others,” he added.

Kumar said it was difficult for them to spend cold nights in tents, but the enthusiasm of the elderly inspired them to stay put. Balbir Singh, a farmer from Jhajjar, said farmers had decided not to celebrate new-year function at night, as they feared miscreants would gain entry and malign their image of protesters.

Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Singh Hooda also visited the Tikri border on Friday to celebrate the New Year with protesters.

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