This Article is From Dec 19, 2016

'Cash Over,' Pensioners Waiting For Hours Outside Banks Told

Pensioners, senior citizens are facing difficulties after notes ban

New Delhi: 75-year-old Om Prakash Sharma, a retired official at Devli village near Delhi, has been queuing outside banks every day for his pension since the government has announced the notes ban on November 8, but he is unable to get his pension, Rs 18,000.

"I come here and stand in lines day after day and all I'm told is that cash is over. This (note-ban) is not in the interest of senior citizens", Mr Sharma said.

In neighbouring Maidangarhi village, Bir Singh, 70, who retired from the Air Force a few years ago, has not been receiving his full pension since the notes ban. "I go to bank asking for Rs 10,000 and they say I can't get more than Rs 2,000. I can't brave long queues outside banks," he said.

"In afternoon hours banks shut down and policemen deployed outside these banks do not let us in... Is this the way they should behave with senior citizens?" Mr Singh rued.

For 71-year-old Raj Malik, who was injured on his way to a bank and is now bed-ridden, the experience has been a bit too sour. "I asked the bank to give me Rs 20,000 since I needed treatment. They blatantly refused and gave me only Rs 5,000", she said with tears in her eyes.  

However, Ram Kishan, 69, believes there may be some merit in the demonetisation drive but it has been implemented poorly. "This move that the government has started should have been restricted to urban areas, in rural areas it is very difficult to implement," he said.

59-year-old Birbal, who works in a government-run insurance company, had to postpone the wedding of his daughter as he did not have enough cash to meet the expenses of marriage.

"I had to cancel my daughter's wedding because of the sudden decision (to demonetise). Pensioners should be given the entire amount due to them. I am currently facing huge challenges but who is going to help us now?" Mr Birbal said.