Ajay Tamang, a school dropout, had come all the way from Darjeeling to collect his cheque from the state government on Monday.
The amount of money he had deposited with the Saradha Group’s deposit mobilising company was Rs. 7,000. On Monday, he got a cheque for Rs. 5,000 from the state government, but he was happy, in fact very happy.
Enjoying the meal that the state government had arranged for the depositors who were cheated by the Saradha Group, Tamang said, “The government gave back all the money I had lost.”
When asked about the Rs. 2,000 he did not get from the government, Tamang replied saying records say he had deposited
Rs 5,000 since the agent did not deposit the remaining Rs. 2,000 and he would not get that money.
“I am not employed and so this amount is very important for me,” said Ajay.
Ambar Thapa, a tea garden worker from Darjeeling, was also overwhelmed with joy after receiving his cheque of Rs. 6,000.
I had deposited this amount in a monthly scheme. Apart from this, I had deposited ` 10,000 in a fixed deposit scheme.
Though I would get the second cheque later, I am extremely happy that I got back ` 6,000.
“We are happy with what the state government has done for us,” said Thapa.
The state government distributed cheques to 929 people, all of them cheated by the Saradha Group.
All were happy that chief minister Mamata Banerjee kept the promise she made after the Saradha Group scam was busted in April this year.
A housewife, and with no other alternative way to earn money, Aduri Mondal had saved whatever she could after running her family.
A resident of Malda, Aduri had invested Rs. 4,000 and after sometime realised that all her savings were gone.
On Monday, she was elated after getting the government cheque. My mother-in-law had also deposited Rs. 2,000.
We hope she gets back her money. Aduri said that the money she got back would help fulfil many family commitments.
“The amount of money these people have invested may not be huge, but these amounts are a big thing for them,” said a Trinamool Congress leader unwilling to be quoted.
Sources said that the Justice (retired) Shyamal Sen Commission found that most investors who parked their money were women.
“We have learnt that while men put their extra money in ponzi schemes, women had put in all their savings because they had a dream for their children. Most women harboured the dream of giving higher education to their children. This was the main reason why they invested in the ponzi schemes, expecting great returns,” finance minister Amit Mitra said.
“They just had a dream, and it is good to see them happy now,” Mitra said.
Both chief minister Mamata Baner jee and the finance minister thanked Justice (retired) Shyamal Sen and his team, Amlan Basu and Jogesh Chatterjee for carrying out the hearing.