Free Wi-Fi for Farmers at Singhu Border, They Don’t Know Who to Thank
On Saturday, the farmers protesting at the Singhu intersection on the Delhi side of the police barricades had a pleasant surprise. Someone had set up a free Wi-Fi hotspot and written the login ID and password on several pieces of cardboard, hanging from strings.
The farmers HT spoke to seemed unaware of the identity of the Good Samaritan. “We call the service of good Samaritans as ‘gupt sewa’ (anonymous service). There are people who do good, but who don’t want to be identified, ”said Sukwinder Singh, a resident of Sabhra village in Tarn Taran and deputy secretary of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan Committee (Punjab).
The cardboard pieces advertising free Wi-Fi weren’t exactly without names. While some carried the login ID and password, all mentioned the donor as “Aapka Abhishek” (their Abhishek). But they did not carry the full name, the name of any organization or a contact number.
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The farmers said that the free Wi-Fi service appeared at a time when they had been struggling due to poor internet connectivity for days. “Due to a large meeting here, the telephone network has been a problem. We were facing dropped calls and could barely use the internet, ”said Ramandeep Singh, a farmer from Rampura in Bhatinda.
Jasveer Singh Piddi, Vice Chairman of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Committee (Punjab), said Wi-Fi has enabled farmers here to video call their families at home. “The Internet is now much better than before. Farmers are even using the Internet to make voice calls. It has also helped younger men share content on social media, ”said Piddi.
There were also a couple of people, mainly dedicated to broadcasting the protests, who managed to install Wi-Fi at an exorbitant price.
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“The network has been a problem here and I couldn’t transmit from here. So someone offered to install single user Wi-Fi and charged me R25,000 for one month’s installation and usage. Since the protests are likely to continue for a long time, I decided to pay, ”said Jitender Singh, an Amritsar resident who runs a religious television channel.