15 Dec Farmer’s Protests
India's farmers peacefully protest to protect their livelihoods
What is this protest about?
Millions of farmers are staging a sit-in protest right now in Delhi, India against a series of 2020 Farmers Ordinance laws that the Indian Government have passed without any prior consultation with the farmers that they affect. Farmers have travelled hundreds of miles from all over India with their tractors and, so far, they have been in Delhi for over 2 weeks spending cold nights on the streets and protesting throughout the day. They are protesting peacefully but have faced tear gas, water cannons and threats of attack from the local police in an attempt to silence them. We are standing in support of the farmers.
How do the 2020 laws affect farmers?
The Government currently agrees to buy agricultural produce from farmers at a MSP (Minimum Support Price) ensuring price stability in the open market and a guaranteed minimum income for farmers. The 2020 laws remove the requirement for the Government to buy produce at a MSP making farmers vulnerable to major exploitation by giant corporations. Farmers will be forced to accept whatever price for their produce those corporations offer. Farmers will inevitably end up with little income and no food on their own tables. Can you imagine ploughing fields in 35 degrees heat for 14 hours a day with no guaranteed minimum income and a family to provide for?! No, we can’t either.
This will affect farmers across the whole of India as agriculture employs over 60% of India’s population. This is why millions of farmers are risking their lives to protest during a global pandemic.
The impact on Panjab is particularly grave as it is the bread basket of India. In fact 50% of the 13 million tonnes of wheat produced to feed India during this pandemic has been grown in Panjab despite it only accounting for 1.5% of India’s total geographical area!
Why does it matter to Your Seva?
As a humanitarian charity we consider it our duty to help raise the voices of those who are being oppressed. This is about humanity, democracy and the right to a reasonable and sustainable income. We have seen first hand the debts, pressure and struggles farmers in India face even with MSP in existence. Without MSP, farmers, having no guaranteed source or level of income are likely to become even more debt-ridden and left without basic amenities and unable to provide for themselves. With your help, [ ] % of the families we currently support have come from a farming background but if the 2020 laws were to be passed, we are deeply concerned that thousands more families are likely to need support going forward. The livelihoods of so many Panjabis is dependent on farming income and we must support their fight against injustice.
This is the biggest protest in global history but why are you not hearing about it in western media?
The largest media outlets in India are controlled and/or owned by the very corporations that are set to financially benefit from the 2020 laws so obviously they have a vested interest in remaining silent. Following global protests in support of the farmers, western media outlets are now being pressured into breaking their silence.
What can you do to help? Awareness, awareness, awareness! The key to this cause is spreading awareness and as a digital generation, social media is currently playing the biggest part in this movement. Please use your social media voice to help spread awareness. Your Seva are also fundraising to help provide supplies of tents, blankets, medical supplies and more to the protestors in Delhi. If you wish to donate to this cause please specify “Farmer’s Protest” as a reference when making your donation.