Despite having to stand in long queues at banks, residents of Jayapur and Nagepur -- villages adopted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi district -- have lauded the demonetisation move.
The scrapping of 1,000 and 500 rupee notes, a move Modi unexpectedly announced on November 8, resulted in a tremendous rise in transactions at the banks at the two villages.
“The decision has led to inconvenience to the poor. But it will result in long-term benefits to the nation,” said Satyanarayan Singh, a senior citizen of Jayapur.
“Those who have stuffed black money in gunny bags will have to give an account of it now.”
Vijaylaxmi, a resident at nearby Benipur village, believes the decision will also bring down inflation.
Most locals said they were willing to put up with the inconvenience because they know it is temporary.
“The decision has given sleepless nights to the people who have amassed money. People like us who earn their livelihood daily faced a little inconvenience because of the decision. It, however, has no major effect on us,” said 60-year-old Mitthuram.
“Change is the law of nature. We are ready to face a little inconvenience for the nation. Demonetisation will pain those who hoarded money for years. Now, the money will come into mainstream and will help in the development of the nation,” said 25-year-old Tribhuvan Yadav of Nagepur.
Heads of both the villages said the decision will strengthen the economy.
However, a villager of Virsinghpur, Omprakash Upadhyay, criticised the move, claiming it was a hastily-made decision that has wreaked havoc for the poor. The government should have made arrangements in advance for the same, he said. He further suggested printing denominations of 200, 400, 600, 800 and 1,000 rupee notes.
The Union Bank of India (UBI) is the only bank that services Jayapur, which has a population of 4,200, and Nagepur, which has 4,000 people.
Residents of neighbouring villages such as Koilee, Veerbhanpur, Jakkhini and Chandarpur come to the Jayapur branch.
“On an average, there were 150 transactions at the branch before November 8 (the day demonetisation was announced). Now, 600 transactions are being done at the branch every day,” said branch manager, Prosenjeet Shee, whose team arrives around 9am and works till late in the evening.
Shee said things would fall into place in the next few days, and lauded the local police station officer, sub-inspector Devendra Singh Yadav, for his cooperation in managing the crowd.