A senior citizen in Jharkhand’s Latehar district had to raise money from neighbours and acquaintances to cremate his wife after his bank turned down his request for a cash withdrawal.
Juel Kujur, a retired government employee in his late eighties in Birshrampur village, 180 km from the state capital, wanted to withdraw Rs 10,000 for the last rites of his wife Heeramani Kujur (82) who died Thursday morning.
Kujur along with his nephew had reached the State Bank of India branch at Mahuadand to withdraw the money. “When the cashier refused to make full payment, I went to the manager and narrated the entire situation but he asked me to take a maximum of Rs 4,000. I had no option but to toe his line,” Kujur said.
The duo then returned to the village and informed the locals about the problem. The villagers then collected donations among themselves to meet the deficit. The village has a population of 600.
An upset Kujur said, “I earlier sought loan from my neighbours, but they were also short of cash. Why should we have deposits in bank accounts when we cannot withdraw money to meet our needs?”
“I will return their money whenever I get cash,” said the senior citizen who served in Palamu district with revenue department.
The villagers also decried the prevailing situation in Mahuadand region that has only one branch. “The banks did not make full payments in Mahuadand and Garu citing liquidity cruch even before the recent demonetisation drive,” pointed out Krishna Gupta, a veteran journalist and social worker.
SBI Mahudand manager Manoj Kumar Sinha told local reporters on Thursday, “Kujur could not be paid Rs 10,000 as the branch didn’t possess enough cash.”
Lead bank district manager Nirad Kumar of the SBI underlined that branches did not get enough money to make full payments
“The situation is likely to improve after March. However, the people should presently focus more on cashless transactions to evade hardships,” Kumar said.