The Other Side: How Demonetisation Is Affecting Bank Employees

Posted on November 18, 2016 in Business and Economy

By Aashay Tripathi

The demonetisation move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi caught the nation off guard on November 8, 2016. The discontinuation of the ₹500 and ₹1000 notes as legal tender to fight the problem of black money and corruption plaguing India for years made every person in the country wonder about what was about to follow.

Naturally, the week saw heated debates over the move, detailed analysis and extrapolation of what to expect in the near future, and of course serpentine queues outside banks and ATMs.

This bold move against black money has seen mixed responses over the week. While a portion of the population welcomed and supported this step, there were some who, citing the perils to the common man as one the reasons, condemned the shift in the economic strategy.

However, amidst the ensuing chaos, the challenges faced by a small segment of the population, the bank employees, have been seemingly ignored and sidelined.

Bank officials across the nation are giving their best to ensure a smooth transition. Right from the day after the announcement, the bank officials have been putting in extra hours every day to try and conduct as many transactions as possible. People’s perception of the whole situation seems to be limited to the chaos and queues outside the banks.

For employees at the bank, work doesn’t finish once the counters are shut. Considering that banks have the responsibility of protecting and securing the money, it goes without saying that exercising due diligence and keeping protocols intact is something that cannot be compromised.

The employees need to cross-check and close every single transaction before calling it a day. They are not only working overtime but are sacrificing their weekends and holidays, family time and sleep. Ensuring the comfort of the general public has become the centre of their lives.

I know it is difficult for us when we’ve been standing in queues for long hours, braving the pollution and the heat. However, it does not seem fair to vent our frustration and show no respect for the people who are trying their very best to deliver.

Like any change that trickles down through the society over a period, the current situation will stay for the next few days. Smooth and gradual phasing out of the chaos is something that is in our hands. As educated and responsible citizens of a democratic India, it is our responsibility to come together as one unit, without playing the blame game, and support the government in this heroic attempt to rid the country of money laundering and its far-reaching impacts.

All of us are in the same situation; we need to sit tight, have patience and aid the process in every way possible. The government’s motivation behind this move was never about targeting a certain group of people who are a part of the black money muck. Instead, the aim has been to rid the nation of economic distress and thereby protect individuals at large. To criticise the efficiency of the officials working behind the scenes would be like standing in the way of our own country’s growth story. Hence, respecting and appreciating the tireless efforts of the bank officials in front of us could be our small contribution to the larger goal.

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Image source: The India Today Group/Getty Images

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