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Face of Demonetisation: Retired army soldier burst into tears at SBI Gurgaon

This photo of an old man crying after missing his spot at the State Bank of India’s New Colony branch in Gurgaon clicked by HT photographer Praveen Kumar went viral on Twitter.

Gurgaon: A 70-year-old retired soldier breaks down outside the State Bank of India branch in Gurgaon after he missed his spot in the line waiting at the bank, and the loss was more than he could handle.

Nand Lal who served on the India-Pakistan border along Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, came to withdraw money from the bank. After queuing up outside the bank for three days, Lal made a requests with folded hands to be allowed to jump the line to withdraw the much-needed money.

Lal said, “Humko apna paisa kyon nahi dete. Pehle tayyari kyon nahi ki…(Why aren’t they giving us our own money? Why did they not prepare for this earlier),” Lal said.

“I had to pay my maid, the grocer and the milkman. I had received Rs 8,000 pension in my account in first week of December.”

Lal used to live with his adopted daughter to care for him. His wife died three decades ago. After the marriage of his daughter he had to move to a dingy rented room just a few blocks away from his home.

“My daughter sold the house after she got married some 15 years ago. Now I live here alone,” Lal said

He uses a walking stick for support, needed Rs 3,000 a month to pay for room rent apart from paying for two square meals a day and electricity. He spend his day between a tea shop close by and his room.

Lal’s neighbour Dinanath Ahuja who accompanied him to the bank said.“Lal”s daughter sends him Rs 7-8,000 every month. We haven’t seen her visiting him in the past.”

Finally his request is considered and he withdrew Rs 10,000 from the bank.“He borrowed Rs 100 to pay to the rickshaw puller who ferried him up to the bank for the three consecutive days. Finally the bank officials considered his condition,” Ahuja said

Hindustan Times has published a photograph of him breaking down, on Wednesday and was widely shared on social media. He has become the symbol of the country’s hardship in the aftermath of the scrapping of 1,000 and 500 rupee notes.