Mumbai: Thousands of farmers who reached Azad Maidan on Monday morning received help from several associations and self-help groups who distributed food, water and footwear. The good-heartedness of Mumbai city was seen in many ways from the moment the protestors entered the city.
The farmers walked continuously for six days to come to the state capital for their voices to be heard. The footwear of many farmers had worn out and they were seen to walk in the blistering sun barefooted, getting cuts, bruises and blisters on their feet. The photos of such farmers and farm labourers went viral on social media, which prompted Mumbai’s citizens to come forward to donate.
Nearly 240 pairs of footwear were distributed to the farmers by Robin Hood Army, a volunteer-based organisation that works against food wastage. “We do not work on funding or sponsorship. We approach entities or restaurants which can directly provide us with the food that we give to the less fortunate section of the society. For this protest, friends and relatives of our volunteers approached to distribute footwear,” said Faiza Dhanani, one of the volunteers with the organisation.
A large number of citizens too extended their support to the farmers who had rested overnight on the pavements and roads. Piku Ahuja and Isha Ahluwalia who did not want come in the limelight said that they read of this problem in the newspapers and decided to support the farmers in whichever way they could. They made several rounds to the nearby market to buy footwear so that the protestors did not return barefooted.
Manav Seva Kalyankari Sangh from Worli, a self-funded group of 11 people, and Jai Ho Foundation from Kurla, were seen distributing biscuits and water on Monday.