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At a time when elderly across the country are facing difficulties in exchanging their old currency notes following demonetisation, the Ludhiana post office has made an effort to reach one step closer to senior citizens and exchange their notes. A mobile van carrying cash has been rolled out by Ludhiana post office and now it is touring old age homes to exchange notes of the elderly.
The van on Wednesday visited Swami Vivekanand Old Age Home in Model Town Extension area and Senior Citizen Day Care Center near Deepak Hospital where old notes were exchanged. The elderly were given the facility so that they do not have to queue up outside the banks and face health issues.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Priyanka Sharma, assistant superintendent headquarters, Ludhiana post office, said, “We exchanged old currency of 32 inmates at Swami Vivekanand Old Age Home. Similarly, 27 elderly inmates at Senior Citizen Day Care Center also exchanged their old notes in the mobile van. It depends on availability of the cash that how much amount we carry on one visit. Generally it is Rs 3 to 4 lakh as security aspect is also kept in mind.”
Seeing a mobile van coming to their rescue and arriving at doorstep to help them, the elderly were elated and said that it is delightful to see that someone spared a thought for them.
“Seeing the news in media on how elderly are getting hassled to queue outside banks and get money, I did not dare to step out since November 8. I was waiting for the rush to ease a bit but when this mobile van reached us, we were elated. Someone actually thought about us. Otherwise who thinks about the people thrown out of homes by their own children,” said an inmate at Senior Citizen Day Care Center.
The van also visited the Military Complex in Dholewal where notes of almost 60 army men were exchanged.
However, due to shortage of cash and staff at post office, the van is still not being rolled out on daily basis. “We are exchanging notes in this van and giving new currency of Rs 2,000, Rs 100, Rs 20 and Rs 10 as per availability. It was our idea to facilitate the elderly but since there is huge rush at post offices too, van is not being rolled out on daily basis. There is shortage of staff but we are trying to take it at as many places as possible, especially to old age homes,” said Sharma.
A team of post office employees led by Sharma and JS Bedi (postal inspector north sub division) are leading the venture. “Whenever we get cash and time from regular schedule, van is taken out,” they said.