NINETEEN-YEAR-old Kavya Sharma has been looking forward to vote for the first time. But with the government deciding to apply an indelible ink mark, similar to that of the voting mark, on those exchanging the now demonetised currency notes, Sharma got “inked” much earlier than she thought she would.
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“When I was a kid, I used to go with my mother to cast her vote at every election. They would apply a mark on me as well. It may sound childish but I’ve been looking forward to casting my vote for the first time because of the ink,” said Sharma, a college student.
For IT professional Alvin Jones, this is the second ink mark of the week. After getting his second tattoo just a few days ago, Jones was less thrilled about the ink mark applied by the bank professional. “This is a mark I’d rather not flaunt,” said Jones. The time he spent waiting in the queue and collecting documents attesting his identity was more than the time he spent on deciding on his tattoo design and getting it done, he added.
Many senior citizens standing in the bank queues were amused at the use of the indelible ink, saying it was the first time such a practice was being undertaken for a purpose other than voting. “In the last 50 years that I have been eligible to vote, I have never missed an election. It is amusing to see it being used for something like exchange of currency notes. I won’t be surprised if we start uploading selfies, like they do after voting, for this. For old-timers like me, this is funny,” said Mahesh Dhinge, a senior citizen.
But for working professionals standing in queues in their lunch hour, hoping to get a few notes exchanged, the ink mark has only added to the hassle. “We have been standing for hours together, hoping to get the notes exchanged. Now, there is another person who is in-charge of applying the ink mark, and someone else who is deputed to check if we have been marked. All this is just increasing the time we spend for the exchange,” said Amita Ghag, who works in a private firm in South Mumbai.
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