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Demonetisation: Foreigners resort to street performances to gather money

"We came here on November 8 to see the famous Pushkar fair. The same night the Government of India announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes. Whatever change we had in Rs 100 and lower denominations are exhausted."

India’s demonetisation has not only left Indians, but also foreign tourists with cash crunch. In an attempt to gather cash, two groups of tourists have resorted to street performances to earn enough cash to reach their embassies in Delhi.

The foreign tourists claim that demonetisation has left them “virtually penniless” and therefore, when they were on a trip to Rajasthan to attend Pushkar fair, they have now started to perform on streets to raise money.

Hindustan Times reported that the two groups, which consist of 10-12 tourists from Germany, Australia and France, were seen performing near Pushkar’s famous Brahma Temple and also at a crossing at the Gau Ghat in Pushkar on Saturday with the hope that locals might help them with some money. They were also seen holding placards that read: “You can help us” and “Money problem.”

The report said that the male members of the two groups played musical instruments while the female members performed acrobatic stunts with big hoops to entertain the large crowd that had gathered on the streets to watch their performance.

The report quotes tourists as saying that they had to resort to street performances because all “ATMs and banks ran out of cash” due to which they could not withdraw money from their bank accounts.

“We came here on November 8 to see the famous Pushkar fair. The same night the Government of India announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes. Whatever change we had in Rs 100 and lower denominations are exhausted,” Jayden, an Australian citizen, said adding that it became difficult for them to even buy food and water. The Pushkar Fair ended on November 14. “Locals have been kind to us. So far we have collected around Rs 2,600,” Adlrik, a German tourist, said.

The group of foreigners desperately want to return to New Delhi and get in touch with the respective embassies to sail through the cash crunch. “As a last resort, we took recourse to performing on the streets to get some help from locals so that we can at least reach Delhi to seek help from our embassies,” Jayden told HT.

However, the luck didn’t seem to be in their favour as their multiple attempts to withdraw or exchange money from banks and ATMs had failed.

“On Friday, my friend and I stood outside an SBI bank and another friend stood outside an ATM for three hours but as soon as our turn came, the cash was exhausted,” Adalene, a French tourist, said.

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