Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s ‘World Cultural Festival’ has been in for controversies. While the National Green Tribunal alleged that the event will damage the Yamuna River, Opposition parties criticised the deployment of the Indian Army to build a pontoon bridge and secure the area.
But no one is talking about the condition of the farm labourers who work on the fields along the river bank.
A flattened farm land near the site of the World Cultural Event.
These farm labourers pay the landowners around Rs.7,000 every six month for tilling the land. They used to make around Rs.60,000 every four months from the produce. But organisers of the event, who acquired the land, gave only Rs.4,000 per bigha to the farm labourers.
The problem is that the organisers flattened the land itself, making it infertile for production of crops for some time. This means farm labourers will lose a part of seasonal produce and incur heavy losses.
Farmers allege that bulldozers were run without their permission and neither were they given any compensation for farms that did not produce anything but were acquired.
A farmer, Mahendra, told TopYaps News:
“I grow vegetables and wheat on 15 bighas of land. Baba’s men came and said they will flatten it. When I refused, they hectored in the name of police and administration. The compensation is half of what I should have received.”
The land now looks like a barren white ground. This reporter saw bulldozers racing against time levelling the farms.
The organisers of the event also erected a perimeter to make the huts invisible from visitors to the glittering event. Meanwhile, members of an organisation declared a hunger strike but surprisingly the farm labourers were not aware of it.