A retired school teacher died on Sunday after he waited outside a bank for eight hours in Jalaun, 200 km from Kanpur, to withdraw money for his daughter’s wedding.
70-year-old Raghunath Verma was expected to travel to Bhind in Madhya Pradesh to preside over his daughter’s Tilak ceremony on November 16, after securing enough cash for marriage expenses.
Verma went to the State Bank of India’s Madhogarh branch early Sunday morning but was beaten to the counter by least 1,000 people. He had to wait until evening for his turn.
All through the day he pleaded the bank officials to help him withdraw the amount early.
Raghunath Verma’s son Ravi Verma said, “We needed Rs 2 lakh for the marriage expenses. My father went to the bank for three days. He had spoken to the bank manager many times asking him to help with the withdrawal and exchange. The manager did not listen to him.”
“He even fell on the manager’s feet on Saturday,” Ravi added.
After eight straight hours, Raghunath slumped to the ground after he suffered a cardiac arrest and was rushed to a community health centre (CHC) nearby.
He was declared dead on arrival.
“My father was restless when I spoke to him over the phone. There was so much to do. He was worried to carry on with the marriage as we were unable to meet the expenses. This decision of the government has been a double whammy, my sister’s marriage has been postponed and we have lost our father.”
Madhogarh circle officer, Naveen Kumar, has confirmed the incident. He said he was informed about the death of the person while he was standing in a queue.
Raghunath resided in Ambedkar Nagar in Madhogarh with his family after he retired from a local primary school. His daughter is the youngest of his two children.
Thousands of people lined up hours before banks opened in towns and cities across the country, prompted by fears that ATMs would soon run dry, on day 7 of the demonetisation drive.
According to official statements, the situation is unlikely to improve for at least two-three weeks, which is the time it will take banks to recalibrate ATMs to start dispensing the new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 banknotes.