Delhiites are known for finding ‘jugaads’ in trickiest situations. On the day when denizens found themselves in cash crunch, some of the local vendors came to their rescue by accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes at a commission of Rs 50, Rs 100.
Panwadis, newspaper vendors and shared autowalahs are encashing and making the most of the situation yet it is a win-win situation for all the parties involved. At a time when everything is up in the air, at least these local vendors and autowalahs are still showing the ‘Dilli dil waalon ki’ spirit but at a price.
The best watering holes for all political discussions have been the local paanwalahs. And now with the currency issue, some of these paan stalls have become a saviour for denizens of Delhi. “Thank God for the paanwalah near my office, who is accepting Rs 500 notes. I thought what will I do without change? But I had my cigarette and tea from this stall and he accepted my Rs 500 note, but only after charging Rs 50 as commission,” says Rohit Nagpal who works in a multinational company in Connaught Place. Inspite of demonitisation of all Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, some panwadis are still accepting them, to later get them exchanged from the banks. “I know it’s illegal but I don’t hoard black money and I’m just trying to help people here and nothing else,” says a local panwalah, who doesn’t wish to be named.
“Rs 500 ke Rs 400 milenge madam,” says Ramlal, a local newspaper seller outside a metro station. “Hume kaun pakdega, hamare bank main bas Rs 2,000 hain. Rs 400- Rs 500 aur extra kama bhi lenge to kuch nahi hoga,” says unperturbed, Ramlal. People queued up in front of such stalls not for newspapers but to exchange their Rs 500 notes. “Even though I already have a newspaper in my bag, I am still waiting here to get those four notes of Rs 100,” says Rahul Sharma, a college student.
Making travelling easier for those who are running short on change, the shared auto drivers have been accepting Rs 500 notes. But on one condition: “Haan le lenge panch sau rupay par tees rupay extra lagenge,” says an autowalah, adding, “Isse to hum dono ka bhala ho raha hai na, savari bhi khush aur hum bhi!” Even the passengers don’t mind paying few extra bucks to these auto drivers. “It’s just a matter of Rs 30. If I am getting dropped at the desired location and can encash my Rs 500 note, then why not,” asks Mohit Gupta, a resident of Rohini, while travelling to the metro station from his home.