Demonetisation is taking the whole nation by storm. Sadly, it has seemed to perturb the very people it intended to work for. Going through the course of my regular life, I have come across a few cases which throw light on this policy and reveal more than the never-ending and tiresome queues.
Ranjaya, 20, a scrap dealer tells me that demonetisation has drastically changed his business. There is no way out and no matter how unfair, he says, business can’t be shut. While he still gets wages in old notes, he has to give commission anytime he has to use these notes for himself. “Rs. 100 is taken as commission on every Rs. 500. You see how difficult it is to make a family of 10 work this way?” he says. With only two family members having an Aadhaar Card and no bank accounts, demonetisation is taking a toll on his livelihood like infinite others.
As I visited Gurudwara Motibagh Sahib, I get to know that lately the footfall for the langar has increased considerably. “These days we are using 40 kilogrammes more wheat and 10 kilogrammes more pulses than usual. Mostly it is the labourers and daily wage workers [who come to eat],” says a source. For those facing starvation and extreme conditions these days, langars come as a last resort.
Satto Monsuri, 70, has been running a parantha stall at Nouroji Nagar for 30 years now. Most of his regular customers are auto and cab drivers. “Business has declined because people are not leaving homes and coming out. There is no rush on the road to serve. Some are eating one parantha instead of two. It is getting tough,” he says. About the queues he adds, “I have no money to get exchanged and hardly Rs.2000 in the bank.” Amidst of all this chaos, Satto is stoic and hopes things get better so that he can run his business as usual.
Their plight resembles innumerable others in our nation. With inconvenience on the rise, there is no relief in sight. Everyone is hoping that conditions will get better soon. But for now, it is just getting tougher.