They first took a boat, then two trains. Then around 80 farmers from villages in the Sundarbans, in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, alighted at Anand Vihar railway station in east Delhi, after journeying for more than 1,400 kilometres. They had come to participate in the Kisan Mukti Morcha on the morning of November 28, to present their demands at the rally. These include infrastructure in their area, fair prices for their produce and widows’ pensions.

“We farmers are neglected. There is no development or proper systems in place for the farmers. They are now shifting from their main livelihood,” said Prabir Mishra. “We came together to demand support for the livelihood of the people of the Sundarbans. We will stay together – 80 representatives from seven blocks have come to Delhi to fight for all the 19 blocks of the Sundarbans and for West Bengal,” he adds.

“With a lot of pain and suffering we came to this developed city in hope of something good,” says Durga Niyogi as she joins the other marchers towards the Gurudwara Shri Bala Sahibji where they will stay the night and march towards Ramlila Maidan the next day.

Samyukta Shastri

Samyukta Shastri is the content coordinator at the People’s Archive of Rural India. She has a bachelor’s degree in Media Studies from the Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication, Pune, and a master’s degree in English Literature from SNDT Women's University, Mumbai.

Other stories by Samyukta Shastri

Namita Waikar is a writer, translator and Managing Editor at PARI. She is the author of the novel 'The Long March', published in 2018.

Other stories by Namita Waikar