DeMo@2: Tragedy of demonetisation has left families and businesses shattered
“Every claim of government has failed, like there is no control on counterfeit notes, Terrorism has also increased, it has stalled the financial system,” says Pankaj Agarwal, a businessman from UP
There is a graveyard adjacent to Nochendi Maidan in Meerut. The graveyard is known as Balamau ka Mazar. There are thousands of dead people buried here and among lies Abdul Aziz Ansari.
Sixty-year-old Abdul Aziz used to work as a labourer in a powerloom plant in Islamabad locality of Meerut. His family lived in 1,200 kilometeres away in Darbhanga. He got extremely worried when he came to know on November 8, 2016, that all the money he had, has become junk. He realised that he had money but he could not buy food, and could not drink tea.
In order to change money, Abdul Aziz stood in a queue outside Kuwaan Branch of SBI located in Meerut. He was not able to exchange the money due to a huge crowd and his health issues. His companion Ishtiaq Ahmed (43) said, "On the first day, he could not exchange the money and was very tensed, he went back the next day, but even then he was not unable to get the new notes. Aziz had money with him but according to PM Modi, it was all worthless piece of paper. On the third day, Abdul Aziz fainted and fell down and he died.
According to Asad Farooqi, “The trade of transport was completely affected. The factories started to shut down. The production definitely decreased. Thousands of people lost their job, the three months of note ban became a major tragedy.”
Ishtiaq points out that he was also worried for the marriage of his daughter. He used to save money for the marriage of his daughter, he used to spend less from salary he used to get from the factory. His hopes got shattered when he was unable to exchange the money even after standing in queue for two-and-a-half days. His tension got multiplied when his family members were not able withdraw money even in Darbhanga. Unfortunately, his body could not reach Darbhanga after his death and he was buried here in Meerut.
Demonetisation destroyed another family in Mohalla Macharia of Saharanpur. Nawab (44), who used to ply a rickshaw, was bedridden for 15 days as he was unwell. His wife Rukhsana (40) stood in queue outside banks for four days but was unable to exchange the money, after which Nawab died.
Nawab Ali who lived in Thana Mandi locality of Saharanpur was suffering from a stomach infection. Doctors refused to treat him with the fees in old rupee notes., Rukhsana said, "She stood in queue for four day continuously. When her turn came up officers at the bank said that there was no money. Bank officials were exchanging the money of VIP people. I cried and begged in front of them but didn’t exchanged my Rs 5,000.
“My house was ruined after my husband passed away, my children are now orphans. My curse will befall on them. Our situation is too bad today, there is nothing to eat, begging seems the only option.”
"This is a shameful situation. Nawab Ali has four children, out of which two daughters are of marriageable age now, what will happen to these girls now,” says a neighbor Athar.
The steel market of Muzaffarnagar, which was called the second largest number of India's Lohamandi, has been badly hit.
Surprisingly, 30 factories are closed; these include big names like Rana Garder, Barnala Steel and Aashirwad Steel.
Pankaj Agarwal, a big industrialist and owner of Bindal Duplex, says, "The note ban was a very wrong decision taken in haste and without research. It maybe possible that the government would show that note ban is doing wonders on the paper, but in reality the demonetisation has affected the business badly. This is the reason that millions of people's have lost their jobs and many small factories have been shut down. Every claim of government has failed, like there is no control on counterfeit notes, Terrorism has also increased, it has stalled the financial system, destroyed the system. The government claimed it would curb black money but now it is afraid to make the returned number of money in banks public. Every economist have criticised it. It is also in news that the Prime Minister did not even consult with his finance minister in this matter. The businessman needs a cooperative environment for business, but the jolt with noteban, business has down, which has not recovered till yet.
Zakir Rana, a businessman in Loha Mandi of Muzaffarnagar, says " The cycle circulation of money was broken after the note ban. The biggest problem came in the purchase of raw materials (scrap). Money could not each the market. Gradually the entire business was affected and along with 32 factories, many smaller factories got closed too.”
According to Asad Farooqi, “The trade of transport was completely affected. The factories started to shut down. The production definitely decreased. Thousands of people lost their jobs, the three months of note ban became a major tragedy.”
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