Haryana Women Take The Training Wheel To Lead Farmers’ Tractor Rally

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In empowering visuals coming in from the state of Haryana adjoining Delhi, where farmers’ protests have been persisting since November 2020, women have taken the wheel ahead of the possible tractor rally on Republic Day. Since talks between agitating farmers and the centre haven’t made headway, protestors have thrown caution that a massive tractor rally in Delhi may be organised on the occasion of January 26. “Daughters of farmers,” who are being trained in tractor-driving, will reportedly lead the Kisan Parade later this month.

According to reports, over 500 women from farmer families are being trained to drive by the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), which has been a supporting force behind the ongoing protests at Delhi’s Singhu border. One such practice session for women was held in Haryana’s Jind area. A rally will reportedly be taken out on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway tomorrow.

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Protestors Talk Of “Women Power”

Choosing women to lead the farmers’ tractor rally comes as a big step in women’s empowerment in Haryana, which was once considered to be a highly patriarchal state with the lowest sex ratio.

Sikkim Nain, a protestor who has been practicing to drive the tractor, was quoted saying in Indian Express: “Women power has joined the battlefield now. We are not going to retreat, don’t take us lightly. This is the second battle of Independence. If we don’t fight today, what would be our reply to future generations?”

She added that if the deadlock between the farmers and government doesn’t resolve soon, agitators will lead their tractor rally to the Red Fort on Republic Day.

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“Some women can drive tractors in the fields for farming activities like ploughing, but have not driven on roads. We have roped in drivers to impart training to these women so that they can drive to Delhi. They are doing a good job and are quick learners,” a BKU leader was quoted saying in The Tribune.

Last month, on Kisan Diwas, a photo of 62-year-old Manjeet Kaur driving a jeep along with five of her companions from Patiala to Singhu border had gone viral.


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Women’s Role In The Farmers’ Protests

Farmers from Punjab and other farming states of India have been protesting against the centre’s farm laws since November last year, asking for them to be repealed. According to farmers, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 seek to endanger their livelihoods to big corporations.

Since then, several rounds of talks have taken place between the two parties involved, but to no avail. Protests have thus continued, through the biting rainy winters of Delhi. Women in all this have also taken the fore significantly.

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Recently, widows of farmers had joined the protests in Delhi. Those at Singhu border have been dedicatedly catering to the essentials on-site, through cooking and other activities. Meanwhile, people who haven’t been able to join the protests – such as these two friends from Chandigarh – are donating medical and winter essentials to farmers.

Image Credit: Indian Express