Demonetisation in India:

Well there has been a lot of posts regarding the after stage of demonetisation. I am not a economist and I can’t comment on those things but what I can write about is the hardships that was faced by a common man like me in the society.

At the time of demonetisation, I was a third year undergraduate student at Madras Institute Of Technology. I was sitting and watching YouTube videos unknown about what the country was about to witness. I didn’t know that the honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi was giving the speech of the decade, that was about the change the face of the country for years to come.

It was about 10 at night when my mother called and then only I knew that the bills of 1000 and 500 was invalidated from next day. Little did I know about what I was going to face. The only bills I had at my hand was four 100 rupee notes.

Most of the places I visit didn’t have a card swipe machines. My daily life involves snacks at college canteen, a dinner at a hotel at back of my campus, juice on the way to college at a road side shop all of which doesn’t even know how a card machine works. It was three days, all the mach I had in my hand was over. All the ATM’s were closed and one those were open had lines which was miles in length. And even if it worked, only 2000 rupee notes came out from the machine, and none of the shop keepers was ready to provide change. Even the railway stations couldn’t provide the change due to high value of the currency. I literally had to take Über every time as I couldn’t find way to get notes in my hand that had a lower value so that I could buy a ticket in any one of the public system.

Of the some of the ways where we could get cash are some of the banks which had notes in their hand. Many of the banks were closed. Literally people get get only 1000 rupee from the banks at the heat of the situation for entire week to run their family. Petrol banks started accepting debit cards and it became the second ATM of the country. People were dying from standing in queues in banks for a long time. The issue became the hot topic in the media.

A stack of one thousand rupee notes.

Cinema theatres like the SPI group gave money from swiping the cards.Many of the companies started introducing digital e-wallets in the country, Paytm being the one of the companies that  profited the most. Every shop that I mentioned earlier adopted Paytm wallet, the digital wallet solution that the company offered. People began to use debit cards and internet banking and it wasn’t without negative effect, most of the transactions mainly from those banks like SBI and Indian Bank failed a lot. There was time when Indian Bank cards didn’t work at all. It took a month till the situation got neutralised. One day my ATM card didn’t work after i ate dinner at a restaurant and i literally had to search for money for about an hour, leaving my friend back at the hotel after which a gentle man whose name i didn’t know till now was kind enough to give me all the money which he just took from the ATM after standing in line for hours in exchange for e-cash.

Hardships faced by common people was not limited. As a student who doesn’t need money everyday faced a lot of hardships during those days.

I was just a student, whose needs were limited. And those needs that i needed money weren’t my basic necessity those were my luxury additions in my life. Just think about the life of a daily worker or an employee. All those hours he spent at the banks was the ones he should have been earning money. All those people, in differential of age standing in the lines in the hot tropical climate in the country just to fulfil his day’s meal.

It was those times in which one needed to support each other. Some of the shops began charging money for using the swipe machine for purchases while others were kind enough to give money as hard cash in exchange for swiping the card. Those days when we needed to under stand that we need to share the available resources. Leave way to elderly people who were standing in the same line as we stood. Some of the basic manners that we need to develop as a human being in this world.

Now its a year past demonisation and our country has been removed from the list of developing countries. But what are the advantages of demonetisation? Does all those deaths gone in vain of seeing a new India ?

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