Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, December 10
Towels, blankets, milk, flour, mattress and toothbrushes. Arhtiyas are providing all this and more to the farmers protesting at the Delhi border. In hordes, arhtiyas (commission agents) from Punjab are coming out in support of the stir against the new farm laws.
Well-stocked tent at Singhu
- Arhtiyas have put up a waterproof tent with a stock of 300 mattresses and 500 blankets at the Singhu border
- Vijay Kalra, president of Federation of Arhtiya Association of Punjab, says the tent will remain pitched there till the protest is on
Besides taking supplies to the protest sites, the arhtiyas have put up a waterproof tent at the Singhu border with a stock of 300 mattresses and 500 blankets. Vijay Kalra, president of Federation of Arhtiya Association of Punjab, says: “I was with the protesting farmers for five days and came back yesterday. I will be going again tomorrow with another batch of arhtiyas.” The arhtiyas are going to the protest sites in batches to replenish the stocks.
Teams of arhtiyas from Moga, Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Faridkot, Muktsar, Mansa and Bathinda districts are already at the protest sites to lend support. Teams from Patiala and Barnala left for Delhi today, while those from Ferozepur, Fazilka and Kapurthala will be moving to the Capital tomorrow and agents from Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr will leave in the next two days.
“The Centre wants to close the mandis, which will remove arhtiyas from the system. The government does not understand that doing away with arhtiyas will severely affect farmers with small and marginal holdings,” says Kalra.
The association takes provisions for the protesters after discussing the requirements with farmer leaders. Naresh Bhardwaj, secretary of the association, says, “Whenever a group of arhtiyas leaves to join the farmers, we call them up and seek information about the daily requirements like towels, slippers and medicines.”