Saddled with the responsibility of managing the household budget, homemakers and working women are among those severely affected by the demonitisation of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Nazneen Firoz, resident of Clover Village in Wanowrie, said her trial began at 6am on Wednesday when she stopped for tea after her early morning walk at the race course. “I have been having tea at the Irani Cafe for years but on Tuesday when I handed over the note of Rs 500, he politely pushed it back and apologised. For a full-time homemaker, it sounds like a tough job running errands and purchases without the convenience of having valid currency in my wallet. The vegetable vendor too, refused to give change. The grocer offered credit instead,” she said.
“The Rs 500 note travelled with me all morning. But I am worried about the payments to be made on the 10th of every month: like maids’ salary and my son’s tuition fee. Even ATM withdrawal limit is nominal,” she said.
NIBM Road resident Roshni Patel said she had been having a horrible day since morning. “I waited for the doctor to arrive for two hours and when my turn came, he said he will not accept Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes. At the petrol pump, they were out of change and were only filling up fuel for people with change or who want to fill up for Rs 5,00 or Rs 1,000,” she added.
In some cases, payments for goods ordered also took a hit. Kaneeka Vijay Kumar, director of Satguru Ayurved in Koregaon Park, had ordered cane furniture for her office which had arrived on Wednesday. “They refused to accept cash but later agreed to take payment by cheque,” she said.
Many women say they have been trying to get fuel or arrange for loose change at petrol pumps but are daunted by the unabated queues there.
NIBM resident Kirtiga Iyer Kale, marketing manager for a major wine company in Koregaon Park, said, “On Tuesday night, I rushed to petrol pumps in Camp area but they had queues stretching till the road. The one in Fatima Nagar was so jam-packed on Wednesday morning that I returned home and ordered a radio cab via cashless transaction. I have Rs 200 with me with a whole week to manage,” she said.
While some people had to put family celebrations on hold, some homemakers are welcoming the move and say they are managing small inconveniences.
Bishakha Moitra, resident of Eisha Loreals, Kondhwa, said, “I tried paying with Rs 500 note at the ice-cream shop in Camp area but he refused. But, rather than complaining I think we should find solutions to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi. If we have to buy anything or order food, we will do it online. I have been withdrawing cash in multiples of Rs 400 so I don’t really see any immediate impact,” she said.