Akbar’s brother, Asgar Pasha, who works as an agricultural labourer narrated his experience of withdrawing Rs. 25,000 everyday straight for a week in order to arrange finances for his daughter’s wedding. Ultimately, he had to postpone the wedding to February.
“For how many days will I keep on going to withdraw Rs. 25,000? I have to work also otherwise I would lose that day’s income. This is my money and still I can’t withdraw.” said Akbar Pasha.
Though this is not the first time that such an initiative has been introduced in India but there is a vast difference between then and now. The earlier currency ban had hardly affected ordinary people as they had not even seen a 500 or 1000 rupee note. But this time these banned notes formed a considerable part of the financial transactions.
Shaheenta, a beedi-roller faces lot of problem in getting change at the nearby grocery shop. The shopkeeper refuses to give her change even when she buys goods.
Kabiruddin Sheikh, a farmer and dairy worker, said that no one is ready to give them loans. He is struggling to make ends meet and is somehow surviving by selling cow’s milk daily for 50–100 rupees. His wife who works as a casual labourer doesn’t have any work after the currency ban. They have a son and a daughter who are studying in school but might not be able to study further as they can’t pay the fees.
Naseema Bano, who is a resident of Azaad Nagar for the last 20 years, said that the farmers are the worst hit by Demonetisation. Her husband is a farmer who grows tobacoo, wheat, maize and cotton.
“Due to poor monsoon, our crops got damaged and we suffered a loss of Rs Two lakhs. Moneylenders are not ready to give loans for small amounts. We are managing somehow.” said Naseema.
Demonetisation has hit the poorest the most, but they are ready to face the brunt and inconveniences for the sake of the nation.