Nagaraj Kalkutgar, a software engineer from Chittargi village of Hungund taluk in Bagalkot marching 7,000 km on foot to join the agitating farmers at Delhi, reached Kalaburagi on Saturday.
Mr. Kalkutgar was addressing presspersons after completing a journey of nearly 3,200 km on foot to participate in the ongoing farmer’s protest against three farm laws.
He has worked in Germany and different cities in India and resigned to support the farmers’ protest. After observing the increasing incidence of farmer suicides and migrations for years, the 40-year-old decided to do his bit for the farming community.
“I would be traversing a distance of 6,500 to 7,000 km to join the farmers’ agitation at Delhi. The purpose for my march all the way from Bagalkot to Delhi is to oppose three farm laws. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, is against minimum support price procurement system. In the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, the farmers in contract farming arrangement may find it difficult to negotiate and this could lead to monopoly of big players and exporters in the market. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill will attract foreign direct investment and big players will have an edge and are likely to dictate prices,” he added.
“After studying the pros and cons of the bills, I feel the demands of the agitating farmers are genuine. All the three bills would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) and leave the farming community at the‘mercy of big corporates,” Mr. Kalkutgar said.
He started walking from Bagalkot from February 11 this year. He will pass through Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and parts of Haryana, and reach Delhi.
Mr. Kalkutgar walks around 35 to 40 km every day to reach out to people. On the way, he meets farmers and discusses the farm laws with them. The lone campaigner believes he will make it to Delhi on November 25 to join the protest against the Modi-government.
B.R. Patil, former MLA, received him in Kalaburagi, and participated in the march for 5 km. Mr. Kalkutgar also garlanded the statues of B.R. Ambedkar and Basaveshwara at Jagat Circle before leaving for Afzalpur.