NEWS
05/09/2018 1:54 PM IST | Updated 05/09/2018 8:27 PM IST

'Modiji, Come To Your Senses': At Kisan-Mazdoor Sangharsh Rally, Farmers, Union Workers Agitate For Their Rights

The farmers, from across the country, began to arrive in Delhi from the beginning of this week.

Betwa Sharma

Thousands of farmers and workers gathered in Delhi on Wednesday for the Kisan-Mazdoor Sangharsh rally which began from the Ramlila Maidan and passed Parliament Street to reach Jantar Mantar.

The protest saw people from across the country arriving in Delhi from the beginning of the week.

Here are some voices from the rally talking about the protest:

Betwa Sharma
Ansar Ali, Circle President UP West BSNL Employees Union, protesting at the rally.

Ansar Ali, Circle President, UP West BSNL Employees Union, told HuffPost India, "Modi ji come to your senses. There is an election (next year). Please give workers the salary they are due."

Betwa Sharma
The head of the Devdasi Vimochana Sangh from Karnataka at the Kisan-Mazdoor Sangharsh Rally

Kalawa Kagi, the head of the Devdasi Vimochana Sangh from Karnataka, a union of widows, told Huffpost India that they want Rs 5,000 from the Modi government as support, along with two acres of land. Currently, the women receive Rs 1,500 a month from the state government.

Betwa Sharma
Vishnu Rai, a mid-day meal worker from Assam, protesting in the Kisan-Mazdoor Sangharsh Rally.

Speaking to HuffPost India, Vishnu Rai, a mid-day meal worker from Assam, said that he earns Rs 33 in a day which adds up to around Rs 1000 a month. He demanded that mid-day meal workers get at least Rs 18,000 a month.

He also said that as a mid-day meal worker, he sometimes sustains burns while cooking large meals, but there were no free medical facilities available to him.

Betwa Sharma

Ram Swaroop farmer from Haryana Fatebad Zilla said that the recommendations of the Swaminath Commission should be implemented

He said, "If the farmers spend Rs 100 rupees per quintal then government should spend Rs 150 rupees."

In his message to the Modi government he said, "Stray animals that ruin farmer crops need to be stopped."

Swaroop claimed that export of gau maans (cow meat) had increased since the Modi sarkar had come to power.

Meanwhile, these women from Tamil Nadu took a kulfi break during the protest:

Organised by groups affiliated to the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the rally is likely to see the attendance of over two lakh people. The demands of the protesters include debt waivers for farmers, minimum wage hike and implementation of labour laws among other things.