Though hospitals in Bhopal are accepting 1,000 and 500-rupee banknotes, patients across the city on Wednesday faced a hard time as pharmacies refused to accept the higher denomination banknotes.
Smriti Jain, who tested positive for Chikunguniya on Wednesday, could not purchase medicines as she did not have Rs 100 banknotes.
Jain says she was in pain for the whole day and after struggling for hours, her father managed to get medicines from the shop of an acquaintance on credit.
Like Jain, hundreds of other patients had a harrowing time due non availability Rs 100 banknotes to purchase medicines.
Madhya Pradesh Chemist and Druggist Association chief Gautam Chand Dhing says that the association is helpless as the government has not permitted to chemist shops to accept the higher dominations banknotes.
“The government has included government-run hospitals and medical shops to accept 1,000 and 500-rupee banknotes but not private chemist shops. In case, we take the higher domination banknotes, how will we justify it as we have to give proper bills to customers,” he says.
Due to the shortage of smaller domination banknotes, Abhinav Mishra, a resident of Trilanga could not purchase eye drop and ointment. “I have only Rs 500 notes and banks and ATMs are closed. I need eye drop urgently but no chemist shops are ready to accept the `500 note,” he says.
Chemist Lalit Jain, however, said that in case of emergency, they are not denying medicines to patients.
“The government should cover all emergency services clearly in the gazette notification,” he says.
Not just patient, students living in hostels, travelers and people visiting the city too faced difficulties in purchasing food.
Vanita Mishra, a student from Indore, says: “A few days back my ATM card was blocked by the bank and my mother came to Bhopal and gave me Rs 20,000 for emergencies.”
“But before I could spend the money, the higher dominations banknotes were abolished and I am facing trouble even in purchasing food. I can’t eat anything as I don’t have a debit card to swipe and don’t have any smaller domination banknotes.”
People also had difficulties to purchase rail ticket with Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 banknotes.
“I couldn’t board a couple of trains as I didn’t have any change. Now, I am asking other passengers for change but everybody is facing the same problem here at the Bhopal railway station,” says Ismail Khan from Gwalior.
But the dilemma of people in the city doesn’t end here, there are many other problems that people are facing.
Amita Singh, a mother of two, says: “ My children’s school has made winter uniform compulsory and when I went to purchase the uniforms on Wednesday, the shopkeeper refused to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.”
The cost of the school uniforms range between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 and I have no balance on my bank debit card so now I will have to stop sending my children to school, she says.