It's been a month since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of high-value currency notes, but the country is still struggling to come to terms with the ensuing cash crunch.
The queues at banks and ATMs continue to get longer, with no signs of respite. The only change: Many who once believed demonetisation would weed out black money from the economy no longer do so.
Echoing the fast-changing public perception, VK Das, a senior citizen and a resident of Kala Vihar Apartments in Mayur Vihar Phase I Extension, says, "I would visit the Corporation Bank at Samachar Market every day in the first two weeks of demonetisation. I felt this was an acceptable price to pay for the fight against black money and corruption, and I would convince people of the benefits of this surprise step. Sometimes, I would go to the extent of even serving tea to those waiting in queues! But now I feel differently. People were absolutely right in their anger against demonetisation."
Another middle-aged resident standing in an ATM queue reiterates Das's views. He snaps, "Is this 'Achhe Din' for us? Why does the common man have to suffer? Did corruption come down in the past one month? No. It's only the poor that has suffered. Many have lost their lives, let alone jobs."
Sujata Jain, a resident of Anand Lok society in Mayur Vihar Phase I, feels, "I don't know if demonetisation will reduce corruption, but it surely is making the poor suffer a great deal."
Gunja Gupta of Sahyog Apartments adds, "How the impact of demonetisation will pan out in the economy is a long-term question, but all we know is that we are facing very tough times in the here and now."
In Noida, too, tired of half-shuttered ATMs and cash-strapped banks, residents no longer speak favourably of the currency ban.
Shailendra Baranwal, a resident of Supertech Capetown in Sector 74, says, "Modi had said in public that the situation would improve in 50 days, but that doesn't seem likely any more."
The RWAs, too, have had to bear the brunt of demonetisation. Rajeev Garg, RWA secretary of Sector 27, says, "No worker wants the the 2,000-rupee notes. It's tough for them to buy items of daily needs from small shops, who sometimes don't have change."
However, some RWAs have managed to stay afloat. Ashok Chaturvedi, RWA secretary of Sector 15A, explains, "We paid the workers through cheque last month, and no one is complaining."
UBS Teotia, RWA president of Supertech Emerald in Sector 93A, sums up the collective mood and says, "Perhaps the intention of the government is right, but the way demonetisation has been implemented was wrong."TAGS: Prime Minister Narendra Modi / Demonetisation / Cash Crunch / Banks / ATMs / Kala Vihar Apartments / Mayur Vihar Phase-1 Extension / Corporation Bank / Samachar Market / Black Money / Corruption / Sahyog Apartments / Supertech Capetown / Sector 74 / Supertech Emerald / Sector 93A