Far from ATMs, a village in UP shrugs off discomfort to usher change

The government has announced its decision to withdraw Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Updated: November 10, 2016 12:53 pm
rs 500 ban, rs 1000 ban, rs 500 discontinue, rs 1000 invalid, black money, no atm, problem to villagers, lucknow village, lucknow atm, no banks, condition of poor, no toll tax, toll free, bank open, how to exchange money, exemptions, LPG distribution, indian express news, india news, latest news, banking, indian economy Siddha Nath Shukla at his tea stall Wednesday. Source: Maulshree Seth

WHEN HE woke up on Wednesday, the morning after the government announced its decision to withdraw Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, Siddha Nath Shukla, 56, a resident of Gulalpur village on the outskirts of Lucknow, saw his wife, Dev Kumari, removing the stitches of a kathri — a handmade quilt of old bedsheets and saris stitched together.

Dev Kumari had stitched the quilt just a few months ago, so Siddha Nath wondered what she was doing. A few minutes later, his unspoken question was answered, as his wife removed two Rs 500 notes that she had stitched inside a fold of the quilt, hidden from her husband, four sons and the rest of the family. She handed over the money to Siddha Nath, and asked him to buy something from the market or deposit it in the bank.

WATCH: Serpentine Queues Outside Banks To Exchange Rs 500, Rs 1,000 Notes

The house has an almirah, but it is also used by her elder daughter-in-law. So Dev Kumari thought the quilt was the safest place to hide the cash. But when she heard her husband and sons talking about how the Rs 500 notes were being recalled, she quickly took out the notes.

“Ka naraz hote. Yuh kauno kaala dhan na hai… Haath mein rehta hai to kharcha ho jata hai, isliye chhupa ke rakhi thi. Chara kaatne ki machine mein laga denge. Pareshani hui to bank mein dalwa denge. (Why would I get angry. This is not black money. She had hidden the money as it would have been spent otherwise. I will use it to buy a machine for cutting fodder. If that is a problem, I will deposit it in the bank),” said Siddha Nath.

Those were not the only Rs 500 notes that Siddha Nath, who has a tea stall in the neighbouring village of Kumrahwah, saw on Wednesday. A few minutes after he opened his tea stall, Durgesh Kumar, the owner of a medical store, gave him a Rs 500 note for five cups of tea which cost Rs 25.

“Arrey, jao jaa ke akhbar padho, TV dekho. Modiji ne yeh note bandh kar diya hai (Go and read the newspapers, watch TV. Modi has stopped this note),” Siddha Nath told Durgesh.

WATCH VIDEO: Rs 500 & Rs 1000 Illegal: Scuffle At An ATM With People Queuing Up To Withdraw Money

Durgesh then shared his problem. “My son was born 12 days ago. Some relatives gave Rs 500 notes, which my wife had saved to pay for the ceremony to celebrate his birth. She has asked me to use the Rs 500 notes, but nobody is accepting them,” he said.

Another villager told Durgesh that a gas station, about five kilometres away, was accepting Rs 500 notes. Durgesh immediately took his two-wheeler and headed for the gas station, where he was told that they would only accept his note if he bought fuel worth Rs 500. Durgesh readily accepted the deal.

However, Ramesh Kumar, a labourer working at a nearby construction site in Halkapurva, did not have that option. He pleaded with the gas station employees to exchange his Rs 1,000 note — his wages for two days that he received on Tuesday evening. He needed to buy vegetables, but none of the vendors were willing to take the note. And he has no use for petrol or diesel, as he only has a bicycle.

“Hum petrol leke kya karenge, gaadi to hai nahin. Kahan bechne jayenge. Koi khata (account) bhi nahi hai. (What will I do with petrol, I don’t have a vehicle. Where will I sell it. I don’t even have a bank account),” said Ramesh Kumar, tears in his eyes.

The employees at the gas station tried to explain their problem. “Bank bandh hain. Agar 10 sau ka note inhe denge, to grahak aa rahe hain, unko kya lautayenge. (The bank is closed. If we give him ten Rs 100 notes, what will we give to our customers),” said one of them.

And at a vegetable market nearby, the vendors were a harried lot. “I reached the market at 4 am. I did not know about the government’s order. One person bought two kilograms of brinjals, for which he gave me a Rs 500 note. Now I need to buy some supplies, but nobody is willing to take the Rs 500,” said Surendra Kumar, a vendor.

Meanwhile, back in Gulalpur village, Farida, who is six months pregnant, was waiting for her husband to return. He left in the morning with three Rs 500 notes to buy fodder for their two buffaloes. Their only source of income is the milk from the buffaloes. Farida said they do not even have a bank account. By late afternoon, her husband was yet to return.

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First Published on: November 10, 2016 5:07 am
  1. M
    MyTake
    Nov 10, 2016 at 4:27 am
    Dev Kumaris should be given free machines to cut fodders from the savings/benefit the Govt will make from this "flushing" out of black money. Hard working people should be rewarded as they work very hard day in and day out.
    Reply
    1. R
      Roger That
      Nov 10, 2016 at 9:34 am
      Is there any real Dev Kumari??seems a urban(rural) legend........
      Reply
      1. J
        JM
        Nov 10, 2016 at 5:24 am
        This is real India, not RG's India. These poor people will need to be explained that there is no need to panic. They can go to the nearest bank and surrender these notes. If my information is correct, you do not need to to have a bank account to do this, just go with a proper id and exchange them. Few people in their locality who know the process should reach out and guide them.
        Reply
        1. A
          ashok
          Nov 10, 2016 at 2:29 am
          This is to curb black money used by Terrorist and their sympathizers(stan). Off course we have to take some pain for gain. If someone has too much gain(black money), they will have real pain in the future.
          Reply
          1. R
            rana
            Nov 10, 2016 at 4:10 am
            dont understand y govt cannot be more innovative than issuing such tughlaki farmaans and out general public at such inconvenience.
            Reply
            1. R
              rana
              Nov 10, 2016 at 4:09 am
              this is going to be reality in cities and towns also as not enough of new notes are available as of now. Very badly concieved action by govt
              Reply
              1. D
                Dayanand
                Nov 10, 2016 at 9:34 am
                MODIJI DID VERY GOOD. JUST LITERATE PEOPLE SHOULD TEACH, MAKE ILLETERATE PEOPLE EDUCATE ABOUT THE BANKING SYSTEM. I PERSONALLY HELPED MANY POOR PEOPLE TO OPEN BANK ACCOUNT. KINDLY HELP. IF EDUCATED PEOPLE DONT HELP UNEDUCATED PEOPLE THEN YOUR EDUCATIONS IS WASTE AND YOU CONSIDER AS UNEDUCATE AND WORTHLESS. SO KINDLY HELP THE PEOPLE ,.. MODIJI DID FOR GOOD. ONLY EFFECTED IS CONGS.
                Reply
                1. I
                  Indian
                  Nov 10, 2016 at 3:17 am
                  This a badly written story, in villages or small towns ppl take things on credit and anybody can take 500 rs note, they can exchange with id proof. Pressutes can sell their families for news like these
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    darpana
                    Nov 12, 2016 at 7:28 am
                    This is the right time....These poor people will now understand the importance of having a bank account. We all educated people must help them in opening a bank account. It is our responsibility to teach them how to use cashless facility after opening a bank account. Instead of complaining, we all should start helping poor, illiterate and senior citizens.
                    Reply
                    1. R
                      Ravun
                      Nov 10, 2016 at 4:27 am
                      F...ked up country
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        Sridhar
                        Nov 10, 2016 at 4:43 am
                        All the difficulties is because people are not 100% literate. People go into Panic Mode and do not appear to be understanding the real situation.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;During Bundh days you can't even buy anything. This situation is far better than headache of Bundh given by Political parties from time to time, when stupid Political Leader die, everything get closed
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          Sheik Mohamed
                          Nov 10, 2016 at 1:00 am
                          People had been put to inconvenience due to all of a sudden move by saffronised party lead by NAMO, let us hope for an early solution.
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            Subodh khanna
                            Nov 10, 2016 at 4:12 am
                            these probs will be for few days , then will be fine ,good move by modi ,best since 1947
                            Reply
                            1. V
                              vk
                              Nov 10, 2016 at 2:37 am
                              Every one were given chance to open free bank account if you are being lazy not a problem for National face it.
                              Reply
                              1. V
                                Viyan
                                Nov 10, 2016 at 4:25 am
                                Nautanki party doing all to keep itself in news always (for its vote bank), even though its nautanki leads to trouble for general people and to country.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;As claimed by nautanki party, if this move is going to help economy, then we should expect reduction in tax in coming year. Will the nautanki party do so? Certainly not.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;They know very well that all the black money is actually residing in banks outside the country. And divert their attention of people from that, they are doing this nautanki.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;When they know very well that troubling the poor people (having few thousand rupees), is not going do any help in black money recovery.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The timing of this nautanki was also well choose by the nautanki party. Had they done it early next year, people would have certainly asked for the benefits of this nautanki (that is tax reduction) at the budget time.lt;br/gt;They did it now, so that will be forget by the budge time.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Swamy
                                  Nov 10, 2016 at 7:47 am
                                  What will be the gain?Who will gain?Black marketers are sharp enough to keep their wealth in Bullions, Gold or buy benami properties.the one who suffers are the poor Citizens.
                                  Reply
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