At queues outside Delhi banks people share, collaborate, socialise
black money crackdown Updated: Nov 16, 2016 15:42 IST
As scores of people outside banks and ATMs rue the inconvenience, there are some who seem to have made peace with the situation. From bringing blankets, mats and lunch boxes, to reserving a place for themselves in a queue, they have almost turned it into an opportunity to relax, socialise and collaborate.
It’s 5.30am on Wednesday and Jagjiwan Ram is wrapped in a blanket lazily lying on a thin bedsheet spread in front of an SBI bank in Badarpur on Mathura Road. He has been here since 5am to exchange Rs 3,500 safely kept in a zip-lock plastic pouch.
“On Monday, I tried to visit the branch during the lunch break. The break got over and I hadn’t even reached near the gate of the bank. So now, I will be the first one and will head to work soon after,” said Ram, who pulls loaded carts for a paper mill.
While the queues become longer as the day progresses, the shared inconveniences faced by people have also generated a sense of camaraderie. At Connaught Place, Dwarka Sector 2, Malviya Nagar, Mayur Vihar Phase I, Lajpat Nagar and several other areas, people were seen booking their spot in the queue as they left to have lunch or take breaks for tea and snacks.
“I let the person in front of me leave for lunch while keeping his space. Once he returns, I will go and then the one behind me will. There’s no option. Reaching to a counter will take anywhere between 4-7 hours. So, it’s better we cooperate,” said Aman Tyagi, an IT professional.
Some even came with families and brought along tiffins to spend time munching. With no provision for senior citizens at several branches even now, many of them were seen bringing their own foldable chairs or yoga mats to sit and wait for their turn.
A tea vendor in front of an ATM in Mayur Vihar Phase III said his sales have spiked ever since the demonetization and the cash frenzy began. “I have to bring at least 7 litres of milk for a start now. Earlier, I used to begin the morning with a stock of 4 litres for tea,” he said.