The day started with farmers meeting at the school, in Durain village of Varanasi Disrict, where were staying last night. The pradhan of teh village who is also affectionately called as the masterji convened the meeting. It was also the meeting point of 2 yatras, One by Bharat Kisan Union [BKU] farmers in the region who were travelling from village to village in the 3 districts around Varanasi meeting farmers and the other was ours moving from state to state doing pretty much the same.
After a brief introduction on the yatra and its objectives which were well appreciated by the farmers who gathered, we had the children from the school explaining the reason why such a school exists through a beautiful song.The most interesting and admirable part was the understanding the children had on our political system and social issues. It was really heartening to see a growing generation in the rural hinderland of the country being aware of our constitutional rights and the social wrongs, things which you hardly see as a part of educational system elsewhere in the country.
Another intresting point was the appreciation the yatris got from the pradhan, who was quite critical and suspicious of such yatras initially, after the meeting.
From Varanasi to Sultanpur was along drive with a traffic jam assured at every small town that we passed by. The Yatra reached Sultanpur where BKU farmers were waiting for us. We had a padyatra across the township which saw high decibell slogeneering by the farmers and the Yatris against all that is against the sustainability of farming and farmers in our country, which defenitly included the current agricultural Minister, Mr. Sharad Pawar.
At the farmers meeting following the rally, the yatris explained to the farmers the need for a second freedom struggle to stop the take over of our land, water and seed by greedy transnational corporations which is unfortunately being mediated by the Indian government.
The yatra moved on to Lucknow after an assurance from the farmers gathered there that they will take the message of Kisan Swaraj to their villages and also join farmers across the country when the Yatra reaches Delhi on 11th December.