Millennium Post

Note ban: Street hawkers’ wails fall on deaf ears

For the past many days the world is watching strange visuals of millions of Indians waiting in never-ending and queues outside banks, ATMs and post offices to withdraw their own money.

The government has completely been ignoring the fact that a poor cannot afford to stay away from his daily wage work even for a day.

Currency ban has made the lives of about 80 percent of India’s population; which include farmers, rural class and weaker sections of our society, tougher each day.

India’s vast economy which is almost entirely dependent on cash has hit the daily wage labourers badly. “I sell balloons at the red light of Model Town. There was a time pre-demonetisation when people used to buy 6-8 balloons at a time and today it is hard for me to even sell a single balloon,” said Manish, a 10-year-old boy.

Asha (32), who sells handmade female accessories near Pitampura said: “I curse the day when this decision of currency ban was made. Our family of five are sleeping with our bellies half-filled for the past one week. We don’t even have enough money to have one proper meal a day.”

There are days that pass by when the weaker section of our society return home without even earning a penny. Be it starvation, medical issues or travelling, they have to manage every bit.

“Usually I used to manage to earn around Rs 200-250 daily. But post demonetisation, my earnings have reduced to half and even zero at times as people don’t have enough change,” said Raju, who sells car accessories near Delhi University.

Jag Mohan Singh residing in Malikpur Village said: “The next day after currency ban I stepped outside my house in hope that things would not be that worse. I thought people would not deny buying an item that costs only Rs 50-60.”

“All my positivity went in vain when I found people asking me for change money instead of buying my product,” he added.

“Who thought we would see a day like this? I feel like crying in despair when I see my two-year-old daughter crying in hunger. I go from pillar to post in search of some work because selling small handicraft goods on the roads is not helping me earn money anymore,” said Geeta Das, trying to hold back her tears.

“Life has become worthless. How can a poor person who lives on day to day earning survive the brunt of demonetisation? My wife and I skip meals so that our children can have food out of the little we earn. Majority of the days people bluntly say that we ourselves don’t have change money to survive and you expect us to buy goods that you sell? It is heart breaking,” said Mahendar Kumar who sells puppets near Rajouri Garden.
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