It was a different Karwachauth celebration altogether for the wives of farmers who are protesting at the collectorate in Bijnor with their demands for the last two days.
The women celebrated the festival with their husbands at the collectorate on Saturday.
All dressed up for the occasion of Karwachauth with henna on their palms and a thali of Pooja in their hands, the wives of many agitating farmers arrived at the Bijnor collectorate on Saturday to celebrate with their beloved husbands, praying for their long lives as they fasted without having even a drop of water.
Rallying behind Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), hundreds of farmers had congregated at the collectorate with sugarcane laden trolleys and buggies on Friday as per the pre-announced protest if their demands are not entertained by the government. The BKU had demanded from the government that the crushing season of sugarcane commences from October 25 or else they would dump their sugarcane in the respective collectorates across the state as a mark of protest.
In compliance with BKU’s call, farmers from many villages of Bijnor district led by the district President of BKU Digamber Singh gathered there and sat in protest since Friday with their sugarcane laden tractor trolleys and buggies.
The farmers even refused to give up their protest on the occasion of Karwachauth on Saturday as a consequence of which their wives decided to join them and celebrate the festival with their men.
On Karwachauth, married women fast and pray for the long lives of their husbands without even having a drop of water. They end the fast in the night after offering water to the moon and consume food and water from the hands of their husbands.
As their husbands were sitting on dharna and refused to leave from there, the wives came forward in support of the protesting men, said Abhishek Vats, in-charge of the social media campaign of BKU in Bijnore, adding that the farmers would not give up their protest at any cost unless their demands are accepted by the government.
“We have come to celebrate Karwachauth with our husbands who have been sitting here on dharna at the collectorate, ” said Nigam, wife of Digamber Singh who had refused to return to his home for the festival.
Farmer Deepak Tomar’s wife Ekta had reached the spot from village Salmabad and celebrated the festival with her husband. Many other women had also come for the same. They offered water to the moon, conducted all the rituals, and ended their fasts after their husbands fed them with their hands.
“We will not give up at any cost and our families are prepared for this,” said
Digamber Singh, adding that their requirements are being fulfilled by farmers of neighbouring villages. Some of them are sending milk to the farmers on protest instead of selling it, he claimed, asserting that if their demands of immediate operation of sugar mills and payment of dues of sugarcane farmers are not accepted by the government the protest would be intensified.