As the farmers’ agitation entered the seventh day on Wednesday, over a dozen kabaddi players, wrestlers and singers from Punjab joined the protest, extending their support to more than 32 farmers unions leading thousands of protestors.
The players, wrestlers and popular Punjabi singer Ravinder Grewal were part of the farmers’ sit-in at Singhu border on the Delhi-Chandigarh route where the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) and other farmers unions have been protesting since November 26.
They have come out in support of the farmers agitating against the three contentious farm bills passed in September during the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
A group of 10 women kabaddi players from Punjab said they are supporting the farmers as their demands were not accepted by the Central government despite protesting in the state for the last three months.
“More than three-month long farmers’ protest did not have the desired impact so they marched to Delhi. Sports progress is dependent on farmers’ progress. If a farmer does not progress, how will sports progress,” leader of the kabaddi team, Surjit Kaur, told IANS.
Kaur said her team is world-class and the players have participated in various competitions in Asia, Australia, New Zealand and other countries.
The women players appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to repeal the three “anti-farmer” laws and accept the farmers’ demands.
“Farmers will continue their struggle. They will not return without reaching a settlement. We will continue the agitation until the government agrees to the farmers’ demands.”
As soon as Punjabi singer Grewal joined the protest on Wednesday afternoon, his fans clicked selfies on their mobile phones.
Meanwhile, a group of wrestlers were busy in distributing ‘langar’ — a service in Sikhism to provide free meals to all without discriminating on the basis of religion.
Wrestler Pradeep Kumar, who along with many of his companions was busy in distributing langar, told IANS that they have been participating in the protest from the day when farmers from Punjab reached Singhu border.
“We distributed food to the protestors during the day and participated in the protest. The Central government should accept the farmers’ demands,” Kumar said.
Thousands of farmers are gathered at the Singhu and Tikri borders for the last seven days. Hundreds of protesting farmers have blocked other Delhi border points like Ghazipur on the Delhi-Ghaziabad route and Chilla on the Delhi-Noida road.