Demonetiastion: No relief for senior citizens at banks despite govt order

“I have a cataract operation to undergo and need money for tests. There was a queue but officials were kind enough to allow me inside,” said 91-year-old Bhanuben Dudhwala.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Published:November 20, 2016 2:13 am
Demonetisation, Demonetisation Mumbai, Mumbai news, Latest news, India news, Maharashtra news, latest news, India news Bhanuben Dudhwala, 91, waits outside a bank at Charkop Saturday. Dilip Kagda

ACROSS THE city, senior citizens hoping to find banks work exclusively for them Saturday were in for a disappointment with general public queuing up to deposit and exchange cash. At several banks, senior citizens formed long queues waiting for their turn to exchange old currency.

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At Versova’s State Bank of India, Kausi Ichhapuri and his wife waited for over an hour under the sun. “We thought we would easily be able to exchange our notes because banks were to give priority to senior citizens. But the counters are so few and even general public is allowed to transact today, that the process has turned very slow,” Ichhapuri said.

According to D S Pal, chief manager at SBI branch, instead of a daily single counter for senior citizens, on Saturday two counters were opened for them. “We are also allowing general public to deposit, withdraw and exchange cash. Senior citizens are exclusively allowed to exchange cash,” he said. The crowd outside the bank, however, kept protesting on the slow processing of deposit and withdrawal procedures.

At several places, even though money was not over, elderly customers complained of waiting in the sun for several hours. Lata Ramesh had first come on Friday to deposit a cheque at Dena Bank in Charkop. After waiting in queue for over one and half hours, she had to leave when she felt tired and her turn had still not come. On Saturday, she again went to the bank to deposit her cheque. “I stood for over half an hour in line and then felt uneasy. I fainted outside the bank and was brought back home. It has become difficult with so many hours getting wasted at banks,” she said.

Another elderly, Bhanuben Dudhwala (91) stood outside Bank of Maharashtra in Charkop to exchange old currency for newer one. “I have a cataract operation to undergo and need money for tests. There was a queue but officials were kind enough to allow me inside,” she said.

In several banks, the queue of general public was shorter on Saturday. People who had taken tokens on Friday but were unable to deposit or withdraw returned on Saturday for the same.