On November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi struck legal tender status off Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in the country and since then, chaos has erupted across the country. But now the government, on the defensive, has extended the date of accepting the notes against few emergency services till November 24. Initially, these services were to accept the old notes only till November 11, then November 14 and now there has been an extension of 10 days.
Several children died after they were denied treatment by hospitals since all their parents had were old notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500. A Mumbai hospital refused to admit an ill newborn as her parents lacked notes in smaller denomination. Carpenter Jagdish Sharma and his wife Kiran Sharma didn’t have valid money after Kiran went into early labour and delivered a girl child at their home. When they went to a hospital, they were asked for smaller denomination notes but since they only had Rs 1000 and Rs 500s, they were turned away. Denied treatment, the ill child died.
In Uttar Pradesh, Kush, a one-year-old boy in Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh, died when his father ran out of Rs 100 notes to pay the doctor. Raju, the father, was advised to take his son to Government hospital to get his Rs 500 note accepted. But the child died before he could be taken to the hospital.
In Rajasthan’s Pali district, Champalal Meghwal and his wife Manisha lost their first newborn within hours of his birth following lack of smaller denomination notes to arrange for the ambulance. By the time, the family arranged for 100 rupee notes to pay the ambulance, the infant died.
An 8-year-old girl died allegedly due to delay in treatment when her father, who was on his way to hospital to seek medical help, could not get petrol as he was carrying a Rs 1000 note which the pump station attendant refused to take.
Then there were those who died in the queues outside banks and ATMs for hours to exchange or withdraw money. Two senior citizens died while waiting for their turn in the queue outside banks. In Sagar District, Vinay Kumar Pandey, 69, succumbed to a heart attack after standing for 30 minutes outside a bank branch in Makronia.
In Gujarat’s Limbdi, Mansukh Darji,69, suffered a heart attack while in a queue outside a Bank of India branch. Vishwas Vartak, 72, of Mumbai also suffered a massive heart attack and died while he was standing in an SBI queue to exchange old notes.
Karthikeyan Harippad,75, of Alappuzha district in Kerala fell unconscious while he was waiting in a queue outside a State Bank of Travancore branch. He was declared brought dead at the primary health centre. In Karnataka, Gopala Shetty, 96, in Ajekar, Udupi district, succumbed to a sudden spike in blood pressure on Saturday while he visited the bank to exchange notes.
On the other hand, Kandukuri Vinoda, 55, in Sanagapuram village of Telangana hanged herself when she realised that the Rs 54 lakh she had in Rs 500s and Rs 1000s after selling her land had turned to waste after the demonetisation.
In Bihar, Ram Awadh Sah, 45, suffered a massive stroke fearing unacceptance of Rs 35,000 in higher denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 by his daughter’s in-laws.
There were others who couldn’t take the shock as well. A Faizabad-based businessman started feeling chest pain just after the PM appeared on television and announced the big notes as illegal tenders. His relatives called the doctor, however, his life couldn’t be saved.
Barkat Sheikh, 47, died on Saturday after suffering heart attack while he was standing in a queue for more than two hours outside a bank at Tarapur town in the district to exchange demonetised currency notes. He was a farmer and had to pay labourers.
K K Unni, 48, in Kannur fell to his death from the under-construction floor of the State Bank of Travancore (SBT),where he had gone to deposit money in his bank account.
Tirtharaji, 40, a washerwoman, died allegedly due to shock when on Wednesday she learnt that banks will not accept denominations of Rs 1000. She had reportedly saved Rs 2000 in denominations of Rs 1000 notes to deposit in bank,and died of sudden ban on currency.
A woman also died after a tiff with her husband over who will stand in the queue. Madhu, the wife of Brajesh Tiwary, died when she fell from their 10th floor apartment in Belur on Friday, following a spat between husband-wife when she was unable to stand in an ATM queue. The police arrested Tiwary for the murder of his wife.
It’s not as if only depositors had difficulties. A 45-year-old cashier at the Neelbad branch of SBI in Bhopal reportedly died of a heart attack on Sunday evening following over time work being done in the banks following the currency ban introduced by PM Modi.