One-meal-a-day seems to be the only option staring at many households, especially of the poor working class and daily-wage earners, what with the cash-less having holidays on Saturday and Sunday and almost all the ATMs continue to remain shut either for not being recalibrated or shortage of cash.
Thus the agony and sufferings of the people following demonetisation is expected to prolong for many more days as besides the two-day holiday due to last Saturday of the month and Sunday, their working is also likely to be dislocated due to Bharat Bandh on Monday called by the Opposition parties. The cash crunch being faced by all sections of the people, even for basic necessities, has dislocated the normal lives of one and all. While the daily wage labourers have no work, the petty traders have no business. Tea and snack vendors, fruit and vegetable sellers, pan shops and the like have been eagerly waiting for customers. Even if the customers trickle, they are being asked to go back due to shortage of small notes and change.
Though this pathetic and heart-rending scenario has been prevalent for the past 18 days since demonetisation was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the expected relief and ease being promised by both the Central government and RBI authorities seemed to be only like a mirage. As if this was not enough, the Bharat Bandh called by the Opposition parties ostensibly to highlight the plight of the people is likely to cause more misery to the common man as normal life is bound to go haywire.
The two-day holiday for the banks has forced the people to go in search of ATMs to draw bare minimum cash for the day-to-day needs. Normally when the banks are closed, people rely on the ATMs for cash for their immediate needs. However, ever since demonetization, the ATMs remained shut and today was no different. In spite of being aware of the ATMs remaining shut, people made a beeline to some of them, which opened. But within a short time, these ATMs also pulled down the shutters as the meagre cash available got exhausted.
A random survey disclosed that those who had little cash have now become penny less and even the provisions got depleted. Many of them said they would be forced to adjust with one meal for next few days and if the situation does not ease they would have to go starving. With pay day a few days away, people are living with fingers crossed and praying some silver lining in the dark clouds. (NSS)