Around 2000 women including widows of the farmers who committed suicide in Punjab over debt in the past and their mothers joined the ongoing protest at Delhi's Tikri border on Wednesday.
These women left for the border from Punjab's Malwa region on Tuesday in 17 buses and 10 tractor-trolleys arranged by Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan), reported The Indian Express.
They reached the Ugrahan group's transit camp, around 7 kilometres from Tikri border, where they carried out a demonstration holding pictures of their deceased relatives.
The farmers have been protesting for 22 days over the three Central farm laws. Enacted in September to reform the agriculture sector, the laws allow farmers to sell to buyers beyond government-regulated wholesale markets.
According to the news reports, the women are mostly from the families of small farmers that have limited landholdings.
Gurmeher Kaur (34), who lost her husband Jugraj Singh at a young age in 2007, said that they had 1.5 acres of land and her husband was very stressed about financial problems and debt. "When he died, I was very young with two children. I gave my younger son away to my sister as I couldn't look after him, and my elder son lives with my parents in their village. They are helping him study," she said.
She gave her land on lease for farming after her husband died and has been working as daily wage labour earning about Rs 1,800-2,000 a month. She expects her elder son, who is 18 now to take up farming after finishing studies.
Another woman, Baljeet Kaur, who lost her husband Gurcharan Singh in 1999, said that they have three acres of land. "We can get very little from this much land. He (Gurcharan) had a debt of ₹5 lakh, and he needed to get his youngster sister married...when my children were young, I gave the land on lease, but now my younger son looks after farming," she said.
Both the women said that they joined the protest as small farmers like them are the most vulnerable and will lose what they have, because of the new farm laws. They said that they would remain at the protest site "till the black laws are repealed."