Cashless banks and ATMs forcing many to skip a meal
Hyderabad: One-meal-a-day seems to be the only option for many households among the poor working class and daily-wage earners. With two holidays in a row (Saturday and Sunday) and almost all the ATMs continue to remain shut either for not being recalibrated or shortage of cash, the poor may be forced to skip a meal.
Thus the agony and sufferings of the people following demonetization is expected to prolong for many more days. Besides the two-day holiday due to last Saturday of the month and Sunday, banking operations are also likely to be hit 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 life of everyone. While the daily wage earners 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 in, 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, 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 day-to-day needs. Normally, when the banks are closed, people rely on the ATMs for cash for their immediate needs. However, ever since the 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, shutters were pulled down as the meagre cash available got exhausted.
A random survey revealed that those who had a 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 the next few days and if the situation does not ease they would have to go hungry. With pay day a few days away, people are sitting with fingers crossed.