A Kerala woman living in near isolation got shock of her life when she heard about the fact that old currency notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 denominations are no longer legal tender in the country.
It was on November 8 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a televised address to the nation announced to demonetise these high-value currency notes.
75-year old Sathi Bai is living all alone in a small house at Varapuzha in Ernakulam, and has absolutely no contact with the outside world. She retired 20 years ago from the state veterinary department and gets monthly pension. She doesn’t even use a phone, television or a newspaper. She goes out to buy products of daily needs only once in a while.
She got to know about the demonetisation move when she went to a grocery shop.
After few shops rejected the old currency she possessed, Sathi approached the Varapuzha branch of State Bank of Travancore with a bag full of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes in the first week of January.
But to her utter dismay, the bank officials told her that the date to get them exchanged has passed. Hearing this, she got extremely upset and angry and made quite a scene. She had nearly Rs 4 lakh with her.
When the police heard about her possessing such a large amount, her house was raised and the police recovered nearly Rs 4 lakh in old currency notes. According to one of her neighbour, since Sathi never speaks to anyone, one could not imagine that she had such a huge amount with her. “Had we known, we would have told her,” she said.
On hearing about Sathi’s plight, the Varapuzha Panchayat committee did offer to help her get in touch with the Reserve Bank of India, but she declined to get any help as she said she gets her monthly pension.