Quieter but still present: Landless labourers say have much to lose -Sourav Roy Barman

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published Published on Dec 24, 2020   modified Modified on Dec 26, 2020

-The Indian Express

A resident of Fazilka district, Dev Singh's life trajectory, in many ways, mirrors the plight of Punjab's landless labourers, managing to eke out a living wholly dependent on those owning tracts of land.

New Delhi: His kurta a little crumpled, chappals worn out, eyes sunken and voice diffident, Dev Singh is not quite like the archetypal Punjabi farmer — feisty and boisterous.

A Mazhabi Sikh, categorised as Dalits, Dev Singh represents the large community of landless agricultural labourers at the capital’s doorstep, eager to make a point against the three farm laws by their quiet presence.

“Khet hi nahi bachenge toh khet mazdoor karenge kya (what will a farm labourer do if the farms cease to exist?) And if a farmer runs into losses, what will we be paid? We must be united in this fight,” he said, a sentiment echoed by many farm labourers The Indian Express spoke to.

A resident of Fazilka district, Dev Singh’s life trajectory, in many ways, mirrors the plight of Punjab’s landless labourers, managing to eke out a living wholly dependent on those owning tracts of land.

“When I had started out, we used to be paid Rs 3 per hour. Today, we are paid about Rs 300 per day, and we put in at least 12 hours of work,” said the 65-year-old father of two sons, who also work as farm labourers.

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The Indian Express, 24 December, 2020, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/quieter-but-still-present-landless-labourers-say-have-much-to-lose-7117569/?fbclid=IwAR1RqVYPsKMvuAv6qtgKXt9_y90WEhLgEY_Yb-X4O9y_B2iLjSVZsrr4GR0


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