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With miseries mounting for patients and their attendants following demonetisation, postal department officials have started visiting hospitals across the city to help them exchange old high-value currency notes for new ones. So far, nearly Rs 25 lakhs have been exchanged by them at the hospitals.
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“The postal teams are visiting hospital wards offering lower denomination currency notes to patients and their family members as per their needs. Many of them are not able to procure cash from the overcrowded banks and ATMs in the city,” Chief Postmaster General (Delhi circle), L N Sharma said. He said several teams have been formed to visit the hospitals.
The hospitals where the teams are going include Ram Manohar Lohiya (RML), Lady Hardinge, Safdarjung, Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB), Army Research and Referral Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Charak Palika hospitals etc.
According to Abhishek Singh, Director, Postal Services (Operations and Headquarters, Delhi circle) the postal staff have exchanged close to Rs 25 lakhs from hospitals till now. The initiative is likely to continue till December 30.
“From Friday onwards, we have also started visiting old age homes and exchange the banned currency notes with the elderly people who are not often in a position to visit banks and post offices,” Singh said.
“Post office has always been a people’s organisation. It caters to the needs of the common man and this was one opportunity where we felt we need to reach out to those who are really in need of money at this time,” he said. The service by the Department of Post has brought cheer among patients and their relatives.
“My husband is admitted to Safdarjung hospital and I was in dire need of cash. I went to a nearby bank twice but there was a long queue and could not exchange or withdraw money. But then these officials from the post office came and exchanged my money. It was of great help,” said 32-year-old Kanika Das.
The government hospitals have been authorised to accept the old currency notes from patients, but the facilities were said to have run out of small change to offer to the patients.
“Also we are finding it difficult to buy food and other essentials from shops and hospital canteens as they are not accepting the old notes. Now because of the postal team we do not have to go and stand in queues,” said Manpreet Khanna.