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.

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

Other stories by Namita Waikar
Samyukta Shastri

Samyukta Shastri is an independent journalist, designer and entrepreneur. She is a trustee of the CounterMediaTrust that runs PARI, and was Content Coordinator at PARI till June 2019.

Other stories by Samyukta Shastri