Thousands of farmers in Maharashtra began marching from Nashik last week, with many more joining along the way.
Over the weekend, more than 50000 farmers moved into Mumbai, with the aim of making it impossible for the authorities to ignore the severity of the crisis that has plagued farmers over the last few years.
While no one from the government has met the farmers yet, residents of Mumbai came out with all the help they could offer.
When the time came to feed the ones who have been feeding them, Mumbai didn’t step back.
As the farmers were marching in the scorching heat of Mumbai, scores of Mumbaikars welcomed them with refreshments at various places.
This is what you cannot ever imagine to break @BJP4India @Dev_Fadnavis . Groups of #Muslims with food, water have been waiting on the route of #KisanLongMarch because they know the hardships the farmers are facing. @godavar @MumbaiMirror @alka_MIRROR @SitaramYechury pic.twitter.com/TfbIRqZKiY— Anand Mangnale (@FightAnand) March 11, 2018
Showering flowers all their way.
Mumbaikars showering the #KisanLongMarch with flowers from a walkway near Mulund. pic.twitter.com/YaURtZ5oNq— AIKS (@KisanSabha) March 11, 2018
Transcending all the boundaries of religion and caste, residents of Mumbai tried their best to support the protesting farmers.
#KisanLongMarch gets a warm welcome from Mumbai‘s Sikhs. The Sikh community in Mumbai serves water and distributes food to farmers participating in the march! pic.twitter.com/IgzaTjtv2c— Harjinder Singh Kukreja (@SinghLions) March 11, 2018
Sikh community in Mumbai distributes food to farmers participating in the march. #KisanLongMarch pic.twitter.com/AqAGoluCu9— AIKS (@KisanSabha) March 11, 2018
Students from IIT Bombay also came forward to extend their support to the farmers.
Students & research scholars of IIT Bombay greeting the farmers participating in #KisanLongMarch pic.twitter.com/yjB5X6CDVa— AIKS (@KisanSabha) March 11, 2018
Farmers cooperated with the government authorities and decided to march at night, so that their rally doesn’t cause any disturbance to the students appearing for the Board and SSC exams Monday morning.
“We do not want to put SSC students in any trouble. But we will reach Azad Maidan. Therefore, we have decided to start walking past midnight,” AIKS President Com. Ashok Dhawale. #KisanLongMarch— AIKS (@KisanSabha) March 11, 2018
As a response, residents were ready to offer them food and water even in the middle of the night.
It’s 4.30 am. When #KisanLongMarch reached Byculla junction, a large group of Muslim brothers distributed water, dates and biscuits to the marching https://t.co/AjIbNdij2I was an extraordinary act of solidarity, which the peasants reciprocated with loud slogans of Lal Salam. pic.twitter.com/teIOnA76iq— Sudeep Sudhakaran (@SudeepSudhakrn) March 11, 2018
It should make us ponder if these farmers could understand our needs, why isn’t the government responding to their demands.
Huge respect for them.
50,000 farmers walked 180kms, asking for the rightful compensation for their crop. On their last stretch they walked all night making sure they didn’t disturb the SSC board examinations. #Compassion #respect #Salute #JaiKisan – 🙏🏽🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/epa0a90A6u— Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) March 12, 2018
If it is indeed true that the farmer’s march was quiet so people could sleep and students appearing for exams the next morning wouldn’t be disturbed, then it is such a lovely way to do it.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 12, 2018
The mass protest couldn’t even hold back this kid from doing his bit.
And that is one of the best things I’ve seen today. You’re awesome Mumbai💖#KisanLongMarch pic.twitter.com/5izJLfUjLd— The Last Caveman (@CarDroidusMax) March 11, 2018
Have a look at those old feet that have been walking and walking.
They’ve left their family kids behind they’ve walked 180Km empty stomach footwear broke but didn’t stop they just marched ahead barefoot, senior citizens legs swollen in blood should they be doing this at this age? 35000 farmers you still can’t see through pain ? #KisanLongMarch pic.twitter.com/Ed3uWt7pQK— Satish Yadav (@iyadavsatish) March 11, 2018
The feet that traversed 200 kilometres from Nashik to Mumbai! Nothing can fail them! #KisanLongMarch reaches Mumbai city. #आक्रोश_बळीराजाचा pic.twitter.com/YrWdg3G8tn— Suvarna Haridas (@HaridasSuvarna) March 10, 2018
Not just food and water, a group in Mumbai has also started a call for citizens to donate footwear for the marchers.
Dear Mumbaikars, besides food and water, can we place new footwear along the #KisanLongMarch route, for the farmers to wear, on their way back home?Whatever be our ideologies, we all have learnt from the dignity shown by these protesters. #respectLet’s wish them success.— Indian Liberals PAC (@indian_liberals) March 12, 2018
Dabbawalas, the tiffin-carriers known for their efficient delivery service, also came forward and provided food to the protesters as a part of their ‘roti-bank’ initiative.
#Mumbai‘s #Dabbawalas deliver food to protesters at Azad Maidan as part of ‘Roti Bank’ initiative | #FarmersMarchToMumbai | Follow LIVE updates here: https://t.co/barQ5YFiR0 pic.twitter.com/sgq2o7ycm3— Firstpost (@firstpost) March 12, 2018
Well done Mumbai! We are proud of you.