Neighbourhood News Desk/Avi Arya: Three days since Shaila Angadi, a midday meal worker left her home in Karnataka’s Bagalkot district to travel to the capital in order to participate in the “Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally” that is being organized by unions. She and a group of 58 female workers arrived at the New Delhi railway station.
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Delhi’s late monsoon rainfall has flooded more than half of the Ramlila Maidan, which forces farmers and workers that have arrived for the rally to abandon 60% of their tent space. Most of the ground is now a sea of mud, with large puddles of dirty water that makes it uninhabitable. Organizers are now scrambling to find alternative accommodations in both train stations and gurudwaras.
Manoj Kumar Sirswal, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) coordinator says that the challenge is when 30,000 people from Maharashtra as well as an equal number from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are expected to arrive. Even Kerala that was hit by the flood is expected to send about 6,000 participants.
Balsingh Andil, Adivasi farmer from Chhattisgarh’s Surajpur district, is bitter about the government’s failure to keep its promises regarding minimum support prices and procurement, claiming that middlemen and brokers had snatched the bulk of whatever the government pays. Apart from the livelihood issues, he is protesting the authoritarianism of the rulers.