Besides numerous special tractors, tableaux of makeshift learning centres, measures to keep “outsiders” from infiltrating the site, there is a hospital on wheels as part of the preparations done by hundreds of volunteers for the Kisan Republic Day Parade.
A tractor with the words — Kisan Hospital On Wheels — written on it is getting ready for the day. It has four beds along with necessary equipment and will go along with the other tractors during the parade. It is being set up by a non-profit organisation (NPO), Life Care Foundation, which has been running a makeshift hospital at the border for three weeks.
Avtar Singh, who started the NPO, said many doctors have volunteered to be a part of the parade. He said atleast 10 doctors and two ambulances will be present at the spot. “There will be an ECG machine, electrolyte liquid and oxygen cylinders. Even if there is a minor emergency, we will be able to handle it at that very moment,” Mr. Avtar said, adding that preparation for this tractor rally has been on since January 20. “There will also be a generator,” he added. Specialised tractors have been brought from Punjab for the parade. A trolley from Amritsar called Arjun puttar (son), was fitted with shiny lights, horn, inverter, fans, fire extinguisher, CCTV, first-aid, among other things. “We have got the fittings done especially for the parade,” said Gurwinder Singh, (24), the tractor driver.
Simran Singh, a 22-year-old farmer from Kapurthala, and his friends have come here with two trolleys carrying 11 tractors.
It also has weighing plates of 180kg. “It’s just a show of power. The protest will be highly peaceful but just in case of an untoward incident, we should be prepared,” he said. “It’s just a show of power. The protest will be peaceful but just in case of an untoward incident, we should be prepared,” he said. The front of the tractor has a hoarding that reads — “Grandfather saw 1947, father saw 1984, we are seeing 2020”.
Karanvir Singh (28) from Rupnagar said ensuring no “outsider” infiltrates the parade is of utmost importance.
“There have been instances of attempts to tarnish the image of protest and we don’t want that. Therefore, only those we know will board our tractors,” he said, adding that three flags — Indian, Khalsa and their Kisan Union — will be put up on the tractors. The farmers said they will prepare meals early morning and carry them along with dry food, including fruits, dry fruits, and biscuits among other edibles.
An open learning centre cum library — Sanjhi Sathh —, which has been running at the Singhu border for over a month, is preparing tableaux inside a tractor.
“It will have bookshelves and paintings,” said Satnam Singh from Rupnagar, a farmer. He said they will put up black flags on tractors as a mark of protest.
Over 2,000 volunteers
Stage Management Committee member Amreek Singh, also a District Pradhan of Bharat Kisan Union Jalandhar (BKU), said over 2,500 volunteers will ensure peace at the parade.
“People will control lane driving. Our plan is to carry out a peaceful parade. All the district heads of BKUs will ensure their people remain peaceful and strict action will be taken against anyone who tries to create a nuisance,” he said.