Press Trust of india

Farmers’ protest: Giant LED screens put up at Singhu border to reach out to protesters

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New Delhi:  As more people join their agitation, farmers protesting against the three farm laws at Delhi’s Singhu border have installed giant LED screens and speakers to reach out to many protesters as possible.

As their agitation entered the 37th day, the teams managing of the farm unions have also quipped themselves with walki-talkies to get in touch with each other and send out messages.

From LED screens to blasting loudspeakers, the ongoing farmers’ protest at the Singhu border has gone hi-tech to optimise accessibility for protestors.

With the number of protestors increasing, the management team of the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha realised that only a limited number of protestors could hear and see the leaders and hear their speeches.

To resolve this issue, two 8X10 feet LED screens were installed near the stage, and speakers have been put up every few kilometres throughout the at least 10-km long stretch.

Since the beginning of the protest, the stage has been at the centre of all broadcasts — be it leaders giving speeches, or major announcements — but until last week it was equipped only with a couple of speakers.

Only those present in front of the stage at the time could access the announcements and speeches.

According to Lakhwinder Singh of the Azad Kisan Committee, Dwaba, the Singhu border saw an influx of protestors following the conclusion of an annual religious sabha at Fatehpur Sahib in Punjab on December 26.

“All the people who were at Fatehpur Sahib are now joining the protest, and last week we realised the crowd in front of the stage had noticeably expanded.

“We had several people tell us that when far away from the stage, they could not see or hear the speakers properly, so we decided to put up the screens,” he said.

To ensure that those engaged in other activities like doing ‘sewa at langar’ and medical camps, or simply resting in their trolleys at the fag end of the stretch, can also hear the speeches, speakers have been installed every “150-200 meters” along the length of the protest site.

“We want to make sure all our farmer brothers and sisters remain well informed about the details of our agitation, or the strategies that are shared by our leaders on the stage.

“And it is natural that not everyone can be in front of the stage at all times. People are doing so much work, but that doesn’t mean they should miss what is being said. So the microphones help all the farmers stay connected,” Lakhwinder, who is also part of the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha management team, said.

He added that more speakers and amplifiers have already been requested for to maximise the reach.

Technology has also helped the team behind these arrangements coordinate among themselves.

With shoddy mobile network at the protest site, the farmer leaders and key members of the management team have equipped themselves with walkie-talkies that keep them connected in a “2-3 km range”.

“Our phones practically don’t work here and the calls drop frequently, so the walkie talkies help us stay in touch within the site, especially in case of emergencies,” said Jaskaran Singh, who has been looking after the stage, light and sound, and tent facilities.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at multiple Delhi borders against the new farm laws, fearing that the legislations would eliminate the Minimum Support Price system, and leave them at the mercy of big corporates.

While the government in the last round of talks on December 30 met two of their demands, resolution on the remaining asks is yet to be reached.

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