To show his support to farmers, this Kerala student is cycling all the way to Kashmir
The ongoing farmers agitation is one of the unique protests in recent Indian history – hundreds of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana have continued an almost two month long agitation for the Central government to repeal recently passed farm laws.
The agitation has seen support from Indians country-wide, from celebrities, musicians, doctors, local governments and even ordinary people including school children for their cause.
Now a student from Kerala is also adding to the cause. 22-year-old Jibin George from Shankhumukham in the Kerala capital is on a one-of-its-kind initiative.
Starting his journey from Thiruvananthapuram and cycling all the way to Jammu and Kashmir, he is going to join the farmers’ protest at Delhi’s borders. He is also focusing on spreading awareness on the farmers’ issue among the public throughout his journey. Jibin is a second-year student at Rajadhani Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Attingal.
“I noticed that people in the southern states were least bothered about these issues and many were ignorant. I decided to go on an all-India cycle expedition to create awareness about the protesting farmers and their concerns,” Jibin told The New Indian Express.
“Farmers are the backbone of our nation and they need our respect, not our sympathy. During the ride, I will be sharing information on the new farm laws and will be speaking to the public about how the Centre’s new laws are going to affect the farmers,” he added.
The young man plans to stick to coastal roads till he reaches Goa. “From Maharashtra, I’ll be exploring places more thoroughly and then head to the protesting farmers in Delhi,” he told The News Minute. His journey will end in Jammu & Kashmir.
Jibin says so far all along the way he has been welcomed by people positively.
Farmers at the Singhu border on Friday said they will attend the ninth round of talks with the government amid indication that it may be last such meeting with the Centre, but added that they don’t have much hope as they will not settle for anything less than the repeal of the contentious farm laws.
Since a Supreme Court-appointed panel on farm laws is likely to hold its first meeting on January 19, the meeting on Friday between with the government and the unions may be the last one.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at several Delhi border points, demanding a complete repeal of the three farm laws and legal guarantee of minimum support price for their crops.
Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the MSP and do away with the “mandi” (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.