Few weeks out of what, in all likelihood, is going to be a long summer, the protesting farmers and volunteers at Delhi's Ghazipur Border have started preparations to sit out the scorching sun.
The mass protest against the agricultural reforms started in late November and has completed three full months of a deadlock between the Centre and the farmer unions. During the said period, the agitating farmers have endured one of the most brutal winters at the interstate borders of Delhi. However, they have largely been self-reliant in regards to sustenance.
Ever since the January 28 fallout at Singhu Border which was triggered by the Republic Day violence, many have even brought generators to the protest sites after water and electricity supply was cut off.
Now, as farmer leader Rakesh Tikait predicted, the farmers have started to bring in coolers and fans to weather the storm in Delhi's unforgiving summers.
"Like winter, we will also face the heat. Arrangements are made for everyone. We have requested the local administration for the connection of electricity. Hopefully, it will be provided. But there is no going back or withdrawing the agitation. We are here to stay," said the Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait.
A young volunteer told India Today, "We are now making bamboo tents. Unlike winters, these tents are required to keep people cool under them. One can even hang ceiling fans through the bamboo poles and we are ordering several such fans as we prepare for the harsh summer."
Volunteers have reportedly been looking after sanitation at the protest sites. Mosquito-proofing arrangements have been synthesised to nip any water or vector-borne disease in the bud.
Punjab local body election results came out on 17th February where Congress managed a clean sweep in seven municipal corporations across the state, winning 281 of the 350 seats. Union Agricultural Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, "It is inappropriate to link the result of municipal corporation polls in Punjab with farmers' agitation."