On November 28, farmers from many states started arriving at a camp set up by the organisers in Bijwasan. This was one of several camps in the city. On November 29, tens of thousands had assembled, and they set out for the march to Ramlila Maidan. Images from both days:

PHOTO • Sanket Jain

The group leader instructing farmers about the precautions to be taken while marching and giving them the emergency contact numbers.

PHOTO • Sanket Jain

Farmers from Nagaur district and block in Rajasthan talk about how saline borewell water  has destroyed their land and crops. “We can only farm for four months a year in the rainy season, the rest of the time we have to work as majdoors and agricultural labourers in other villages,” they say. Surdhan Singh, 75, a farmer from Jodhiyasi village in Nagaur tehsil, says, “No one wants to hire me as a majdoor and agricultural labourer because I am old. The only thing I can now do is perform and tell my plight.”

PHOTO • Sanket Jain

Farmers from Rajasthan’s Nagaur district preparing for a traditional musical performance.

PHOTO • Sanket Jain

A lot of kids have come with their parents to participate in the march.

PHOTO • Sanket Jain

Farmers from rural West Bengal marching towards Ramlila Maidan.

PHOTO • Sanket Jain

Rinku Halder, 22 from Sonatikri village in Jaynagar-II block of South 24 Parganas had polio in her childhood. Determined to fight for her farm family, she says, “I fully support the farmers. I have come all the way to Delhi so that the government pays attention to our situation. The costs of pesticide and electricity are increasing, but we don't get any profit even if the yield is good. In Kolkata you buy the produce [paddy] at a high cost, but in the village we don’t get much of a rate.”

PHOTO • Sanket Jain

A farmer from West Bengal singing traditional songs during the march.

PHOTO • Sanket Jain

Farmers from Taoru block of Mewat district in Haryana complain about the poor electricity supply – for only six hours a day, 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. – in their fields. “How will a farmer waters plants at 11 in the night?” they ask.

PHOTO • Sanket Jain

A farmer resting on the road after walking 10 kilometres from Bijwasan camp.

PHOTO • Sanket Jain

Narayan Bhau Gayakwad, 72, a farmer from Jambhali village in Shirol taluka of Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district, playing his flute.

PHOTO • Sanket Jain

A group of Adivasi farmers from Maharashtra’s Palghar district performing traditional songs at Ramlila Maidan.

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Farmers in state-wise tents set up at Ramlila Maidan.

PHOTO • Sanket Jain

At the Maidan, watching performances later in the evening.

Sanket Jain

Sanket Jain is a freelance rural journalist based in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, and a PARI volunteer.

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