Sunil Modi, a farmer from Dhar, and his group came to the rescue of thousands of people attending the annual Koteshwar Mahadev Fair in the district by exchanging now-banned high-value banknotes with lower denomination ones.
The 44-year-old BJP leader from Kanwan village and 70 members of his group helped more than 800 villagers and exchanged more than Rs 4 lakh to help people enjoy the fair.
Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 announced that 500 and 1,000 rupee bills would cease to be legal tender in a crackdown on corruption, undeclared wealth and tax evasion.
“We didn’t want to spoil mood of people who come here with big anticipation,” said Sunil Modi, the president of BJP’s Kanwan rural mandal unit. “After the prime minister announced demonetisation of high-value currency notes, we got together and decided to do something to deal with the crisis.”
“The response was overwhelming. We collected more than Rs 4 lakh lower denomination banknotes and exchanged with the villagers at the fair,” he said.
“We are maintaining records of collection and once the fair is over, we’ll returned money to those who contributed for the initiative,” said Sunil Modi.
Villagers lauded the outstanding work done by Sunil Modi and his group. “Some people are charging commission between 10 and 20 percent for changing old banknotes. But Modi and his party are doing a good work,” said Mahesh Bairagi, a farmer from Gandhwani village.
Madhuri Ben, a villager from Rajod, said, “Before coming here, I’ve tried to exchange few banknotes, but nobody helped me. I decided to stay at home. But my kids forced me to come to the fair and problem was solved within minute by the group,” she said. The prime minister’s move was initially welcomed, but frustrations have mounted in the largely cash-reliant country where millions have been left without enough to cover their daily needs.