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Cash-starved denizens eagerly waiting for banks to reopen today

After bracing themselves up to withstand  shortage of required cash for the day-to-day needs following three days of closure of banks on account of holidays, the denizens are eagerly waiting for the banks to reopen on Tuesday to get whatever little amount possible, if they are lucky, to urgently meet their immediate needs.

Having been put to innumerable hardships during the past over a month to get even the paltry sum being disbursed by the banks, that too after patiently waiting in serpentine queues, the three-day bank holidays since Saturday has come as a bolt from the blue for the cash-starved people, especially the poor and working class, to buy the daily essentials. However, having become immune to the cash crunch in the wake of demonetization of big currency notes by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, the hapless masses tried to make good with what ever a little they had for the past three days. Now with the little cash even getting depleted, they are now eagerly waiting for the banks to reopen on Tuesday. They are also keeping their fingers crossed whether the banks receive sufficient money for disbursement and also for the ATMs to function normally.

Petty shopkeepers, vegetable vendors, road-side eateries and such small traders, who have been reeling under the demonetization effects further suffered with drastic fall in their business due to the bank holidays. Even a large number of domestic helps seem to have been hit hard by not receiving their salaries as the employers blaming the closure of banks for not getting required cash for payment of salaries.

Ayyappa devotees not hit

 

Meanwhile, demonetization seems to be having no impact what-so-ever on Ayyappa devotes visiting Sabarimala in Kerala State. It is pertinent to note here that Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States account for the maximum number of Ayyappa devotees during the Mandalam and Makara Jyothi season every year. Since a majority of the devotees book their train tickets in advance, the ban on big notes seems to have not come in their way to undertake the annual pilgrimage.

 

While there is no decline in the rush at Sabarimala, there is a steep fall in the devotees visiting the nearby by temples. The Ayyappa devotees usually visit a number of temples en route like Sri Krishna temple Guruvayoor, Bhagavathi temple in Chottanikkara , Shiva temple in Vaikom and so on. However, because of demonetization, the devotees were forced to certain austerity measures like confining their pilgrimage only to Sabarimala and skip visiting other temples. The trains leaving Hyderabad for Ernakulam are as usual packed with Ayyappa devotees. Scores of them board the train en route in places like Nalgonda, Guntur and so on. Thus, demonetization seems to be no botheration for the devout. (NSS)