Cash crunch continues to pinch workers, students in Delhi

The shorter queues at banks is a relief for the salaried class and those with bank accounts but people working in unorganised sectors such as factory workers, labourers and students continue to face problems even in getting a bank account opened.

Mohammad Shiraj, a rickshaw-puller, who does not even have a rented accommodation in Delhi and sleeps on the street in GB Road area said, “I still old notes worth Rs 2,000 with me and I do not know how to get it deposited into a bank.”

“A man, who sets up a stall in the area, where I sleep gave me a certified copy of address proof so that I could get an account opened but the bank refused,” he added.

Like Shiraj, workers in the industrial areas are also hit as they do not have sufficient documents to open a bank account. Secondly, they are in a fix as many of them have been paid salaries in old notes.

Shyam Lal, who lives in Chilla Village in Delhi and works at a factory in Noida said, “The factory owner paid me in old notes. He said either take it or get a bank account opened. When I go to bank, they ask for Aadhaar card. The Aadhaar card enrolment centres ask for address proof.”

“We live in a shanty and the owner is not giving us a proof of residence,” he added.

Most students coming to Delhi and living as paying guests or residential accommodation in different parts of Delhi too do not have bank accounts.

The only option students have is to stand outside ATMs to withdraw Rs 2,500 from accounts they opened back home. To open an account in Delhi, they do not have enough documents.

“Last month, I had to stand in a queue for two hours for five consecutive days to get R10,000 to pay my rent. Thereafter, I tried to open a bank account but banks do not accept coaching institutes’ identity card as address proof. There is no residential proof provided by owners of paying guest,” said Dhyandendra Sharma, who lives in a paying guest accommodation in Kalu Sarai.