Rs 96,000 in old notes found at locked home, orphans write to PM Modi

And while they wait for a response — a hard copy of the letter will be mailed on Monday — the talk in Kota is all about the story behind that white sheet of paper.

Written by Mohammad Hamza Khan | Kota | Updated: March 27, 2017 4:33 pm
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They didn’t have much to begin with. He was just about seven and his sister two when their father, a truck driver, left them in 2007. In 2013, police say, he saw a man he called “uncle” crush their mother, a nurse, running a car over her again and again till she died. Since then, these siblings, now 17 and 12, have been living as orphans in a Kota child care home.

On March 7, he visited his mother’s home in Sarawada village, about 60 km from Kota, as authorities finally started moving on their rehabilitation, and stumbled upon a surprise — Rs 96,500 stuffed in a pillow by his mother. And then, came the shock.

The money was in old notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500, rendered worthless after the demonetisation rollout of November 8, 2016. With the Reserve Bank of India expressing helplessness in their case in a letter on March 22, the two children have now pinned all their hopes on an open letter — one they posted online on March 25 to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office, seeking help.

In the letter, scribbled in Hindi on a single sheet, they wrote: “Please listen to our Mann ki Baat, Modiji. Humare aage peeche koi nahin (We don’t have any relatives)… our father left us when we were young and our mother was murdered. We want to deposit the money back with the government. please help us at the earliest.”

And while they wait for a response — a hard copy of the letter will be mailed on Monday — the talk in Kota is all about the story behind that white sheet of paper.

For over three years, the two were forgotten among the over 270 orphans, runaways, abandoned or surrendered children who are kept in government affiliated childcare homes in Kota at any time. Usually, authorities conduct a social investigation in each case to track relatives and rehabilitate the children.

“But for these siblings, the social investigation, which should have been mandatorily completed within the first four months, was never undertaken,” says Harish Gurubaxani, chairman, Kota Child Welfare Committee. Under Gurubaxani, who took charge on January 13, all the “unsatisfactory files” were taken up for review, including the one of these siblings.

After police was notified, the next step was a visit to their former home. On February 14, when the boy reached their rented home in Kota’s R K Puram — the sister stayed back — he was told that their belongings had been thrown out about three months after their mother died. However, he soon found out that a neighbour had kept most of it safe.

“There were utensils and the TV, but I could not find my video game,” says the boy, a Class 9 student.

Then came the visit to his mother’s home, one she had bought with Rs 30,000 and was slowly rebuilding. The door was blocked by mud. On March 11, they returned, and this time the policemen accompanying him jumped inside.

Out came a cooler; an iron box; two speakers; two DVDs; one cot; a plastic drum; a sewing machine; a clothes iron; 25 steel glasses; 20 steel bowls; 19 steel plates; some gold and silver jewellery; an ATM card; and, a small trunk, among other things. Inside the trunk was the pillow, stuffed with 22 notes of Rs 1,000 and 149 notes of Rs 500.

“I opened the trunk that day. It was never locked. I remembered mother used to keep the money in a pillow and then hide the pillow in the trunk. She used to work as a nurse and we lived on rent in Kota. But she saved for us, for our home. She had got two rooms constructed in Sarawada while a third was half complete when she was killed,” he says.

According to police, the man who killed their mother was in a relationship with her. “The man was booked for murder (IPC 302) and destruction of evidence (IPC 201). He was trying to make it look like an accident,” says Assistant Sub Inspector Babu Lal Meena, who was then posted at R K Puram police station.

“It was late at night and the incident took place barely 100 metres from their home. When I reached the spot, the boy was crying,” says Deshraj Singh, who drove the police jeep that took Meena to the spot in September 2013.

“The trial in the case is still on,” says Shoukat Khan, SHO of R K Puram police station.

“Police could not reach their father when their mother was murdered. A woman claiming to be their grandmother has turned up at the orphanage, saying that her son, their father, has passed away. We are verifying her claims. We spoke to Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal, the MP from Bikaner, and he has assured that he would see to it that our concerns are addressed,” says Gurubaxani, the CWC chief.

On Sunday, Kota MP Om Birla visited the child care home. “Their mother worked hard and saved some money, so we will request the government to address this. If it isn’t possible due to legal issues, we hope to raise Rs 50,000 for them with the help of the public. We will take care of their education and the residents of Kota will pool in money for the girl’s marriage when the time comes. We are ready to take care of them,” says Birla.

The boy says he still hasn’t decided what to be in life. His sister, a Class 3 student, says she likes English and wants to be a teacher. So if they do get their money, what will they do with it? “I will save it as a fixed deposit for my sister,” says the boy. She just looks at him and smiles.

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  1. A
    Ash
    Mar 27, 2017 at 8:53 am
    There must be many more such cases.This one Ofcourse is vary tragic due to their being orphans,their young age,and the large amount involved.lt;br/gt; Note bandi has turned out to be a curse for thousands of poor who don't have access to the media.The tragedy is that it was unnecessary for any valid reason except to make fake notes useless.But seeing it only took 3 months for fresh fake notes to come through,the exercise was futile.lt;br/gt;This only shows the inexperience of this sarkaar.
    Reply
    1. I
      IML sood
      Mar 27, 2017 at 2:18 pm
      Before going into details, the big question is whether PM or any authority can relax law to give benefit in individual case. Such more right or wrong cases will flood the Govt.if a precedent is made. Better genuine sufferings can be helped in other ways.
      Reply
      1. K
        Kiran
        Mar 27, 2017 at 3:28 am
        This is a rarest of rare case. If you start creating exception for every case, then the w concept of demonetization loses its value. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt; The best solution is Crowd-funding. Let the media person create a authenticated and validated crowd-funding project. I am sure we public will support in cutting the loses suffered by the young kids. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Please do not use these vulnerable kids to drive your agenda to show demonetization in bad light.
        Reply
        1. M
          MannA S
          Mar 27, 2017 at 8:06 am
          Govt must replace this money.Rules are man maid must be changed to adjust these poor children.
          Reply
          1. M
            MannA S
            Mar 27, 2017 at 8:09 am
            Made*
            Reply
            1. M
              Mukho
              Mar 27, 2017 at 6:10 pm
              Ha..ha..bang on. Pseudo intellects and elites. They are in lot of pain. Time up for them.
              Reply
              1. M
                Mukho
                Mar 27, 2017 at 6:07 pm
                That's a typical Communist talking. What else can we expect from the leftist bongs. All talk and criticism and no constructive plan. Wake-up. Open your eyes. A shame.
                Reply
                1. C
                  Concerned
                  Mar 27, 2017 at 2:01 am
                  For some reason the open letters is becoming tradition, especially with the corrupt slave media.I am surprised why the people supporting these kids did not guide them for the right path. lt;br/gt;The simple way is to ask the RBI for a mutually acceptable solution. If there is any corruption that the RBI officer suggests then t hey should reach out to the media. Open letters through the media should be the last resorts more to expose corrupt people than to force good administrators to act. The law takes time to implement but there is always a solution if the methods are right.
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    Dr.Damodar Biswal
                    Mar 27, 2017 at 5:53 am
                    The laws of the land does not permit exchange of demonetised notes after due date.The elected representatives of the area should make voluntary collections n compensate the orphans.
                    Reply
                    1. P
                      Parappur
                      Mar 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm
                      All the bleeding hearts commented here should open a Go Fund Me account and contribute generously for helping such cases. Law of the land cannot be broken no matter what.
                      Reply
                      1. V
                        vijaykumar
                        Mar 27, 2017 at 3:48 am
                        What is the authenticity of storylt;br/gt;We can not believe such stories if accepted many more will come. Such stories should thoroughly probed
                        Reply
                        1. T
                          Truth
                          Mar 27, 2017 at 2:38 am
                          No data on DeMon till now.....R B I got back more than 15.4 lakh cr. by mid-December and so decided to stop taking in any more of the old notes ......again proves how DeMon helped J I O friends (in business kick.backs) and B J P pol.iticians (in .embly ele.ctions) after robbing the common man !
                          Reply
                          1. I
                            Indian
                            Mar 27, 2017 at 8:18 pm
                            What would be PMji's Mon-key baat now?
                            Reply
                            1. J
                              Jagadeesh Kumar
                              Mar 27, 2017 at 10:22 am
                              One thing to appreciate Modi is that he appears to be determined to do something to this country. However, headless decisions like demonetization are only damaging middle cl and the poor. Sometimes it is better to not do anything than to disrupt everything on the pretext of betterment. Demonetization handicapped this country. UP elections are not a litmus test to reflect the opinions of remaining 105 crore people.
                              Reply
                              1. H
                                Harminder Singh
                                Mar 27, 2017 at 2:11 am
                                BJP Bhakts RSS Bhakts Congress Bhakts any body a Desh Bhakt none, only party Bhakts
                                Reply
                                1. K
                                  K.V.Mahadevan
                                  Mar 27, 2017 at 9:16 am
                                  If the PM cares for the poor and the hapless he should give his personal money to the children and make them live an honourable life. BJP has enough rich members and philonthropists who could go to the rescue of this very very legit case.
                                  Reply
                                  1. M
                                    Manu USA
                                    Mar 27, 2017 at 4:09 am
                                    If they r orphaned, then should be helped and money be deposited
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      mc
                                      Mar 27, 2017 at 3:18 am
                                      Is Modi King of India? He is a criminal. He is playing a communal killing politics now in India.
                                      Reply
                                      1. O
                                        OmKar
                                        Mar 27, 2017 at 4:28 am
                                        jahadi spotted
                                        Reply
                                        1. P
                                          pramodkaimalgmail
                                          Mar 27, 2017 at 6:05 am
                                          A really touching INCIDENT i will not want to be called a story if TRUE. But Truth it MUST be, as amount is in thousands that too exact not Rs 96,500 Crores; May GOD be with the likes of Birlaji
                                          Reply
                                          1. K
                                            Kudiyan Sasi
                                            Mar 27, 2017 at 3:29 pm
                                            Cool down now. The government will decide what to do.
                                            Reply
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