NEW DELHI

Delhiites start prioritising their needs

Lean day:Fruit sellers wait for customers.Photo: V. V. Krishnan

Lean day:Fruit sellers wait for customers.Photo: V. V. Krishnan  

“Prioritise” seems to be the mantra these day for Delhiites struggling to make ends meets since the demonetisation of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes.

Headache for the common man hasbecome all the more severe with ATMs remaining closed.

“We haven’t bought vegetables for a week now. We cannot buy eggs, bread and butter. Government-run stores demand that we spend the entire Rs.500 or Rs.1,000 and not ask for change. Who has that type of money? We aren’t able to deposit money or withdraw. Spending a day in line means having to forgo wages for the day,” said Neelam, a cook. Her husband is a daily wager.

Unfortunately, Ms. Neelam’s story is not unique, many housewives are complaining that they are unable to buy vegetables and other essential items due to lack of currency.

“My husband has been running from pillar to post to get our Rs.1,000 notes changed for Rs.100 notes. He was among the many who have been queueing up outside ATMs, banks and post offices across the city to withdraw cash. And like many he returned empty-handed even today. We are having problems purchasing milk, vegetables and medicines. Also we can’t spend the entire day trying to deposit and withdraw cash,” said Mamta, a home-maker and mother of an eight-year-old.

Ms. Mamta added that small clinics and grocery vendors in her area have put up boards saying that Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes would not be accepted. “I feel helpless and cheated,” she said.

“It is frustrating when you can’t even buy milk for your daily tea. And when the auto person is charging Rs.500 when the actual rate is half that... you feel robbed,” said Anil Bansal, an IT professional from Janak Puri, who works in Connaught Place.

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