Inside a bus parked at the Singhu border, two women with their children have been residing for the last 42 days, leaving the comforts of their lavish home back in their village in Punjab.
Sukhbir Kaur, 51, who claims to be the first woman to have come for the protest, with her 11-year-old daughter Gursimrat Kaur and husband Rajpal Singh, has been sleeping between the two sets of seating in the bus since November 26.
“Back home in Hoshiarpur, we have an eight-bedroom house with four toilets and bath. We own 10 acres of land and yet, here we are,” she said.
Inside the bus, which looks nothing less than a makeshift home — like all other tractors and trolleys — at the rear, are medicines for cough, cold, joint pain, gastric issues. On the sides, the clothes she washes are put to dry. These medicines have been brought from home so that we don’t have to buy anything, she said.
“Initially, we had come here only for two days and I had brought only three pairs of suits. It’s been 42 days now,” she added.
Ms. Sukhbir starts her day early, washes her face and brushes her teeth right across the road at the water tanker after which she cooks breakfast in front of the bus.
“Three of us go together to a house, a kilometre away, where we bath and I wash our clothes. Going and coming takes us about two hours,” she said.
The woman has worked as a nursing staff for 25 years at a hospital in Hoshiarpur, she said, adding: “If I went home even once, my fight will fail. Shaheed Bhagat Singh also never took a break”.
Along with Ms. Sukhbir stays Rupinder Kaur and her two children — Jasgul Kaur (2) and Ekamjeet Singh (4).
“Ab aaye hain to fateh karke hi jaayenge (If we have come, we’ll win and go),” she said.