NEW DELHI: Notwithstanding the chilling temperature of the national capital, Vikas Yadav has been protesting the three Central farm laws at the Singhu border bare bodied with the tricolour painted on him.
With slogans written on his arms and face, the farmer from Uttar Pradesh's Kannauj region said he hoped this would draw the government's attention towards the agitation.
"Nobody is listening to us. We are living on the road, but nobody is paying any attention. Maybe now they will," said Yadav, who arrived at the protest site a week ago.
He "protested quietly" for a week and hoped for things to change.
But after getting "frustrated" by the "inaction" of the government, he paid Rs 200 to get his body painted.
For him, painting his body was a show of "farmers' unity and strength".
"The government has been ignoring us. I came here a week back and nothing has changed. They don't care if the farmers are out on the road in this cold. They won't care even if we die."
"I did this to show our government that we are not afraid of anything," Yadav said, adding he will keep painting his body with new slogans every day until the government fulfils the farmers' demands.
Asked if the cold bothered him, he replied, "The cold is nothing compared to our fight. I am doing this for myself and my farmer brothers."
Thousands of farmers have been protesting at various border points of Delhi for around a month as the stalemate between the government and the protesters, who are demanding a repeal of the three new agri laws, continued without any signs of a breakthrough.
Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.
The government has repeatedly asserted that the MSP and Mandi systems will stay and has accused the opposition of misleading the farmers.