Ponda: An elderly woman from Bethoda in Ponda taluka has
been hoping against hope that her nest egg of Rs 52,000 that she holds in
banned notes would ‘come back to life’ somehow.
Bhima Gaonkar (75) holds banned notes worth of Rs 52,000 in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000
denominations, which she had saved for her old age and funeral expenses.
The demonetisation of banknotes in 2016 has rendered her
nest egg worthless, which was her life’s entire saving.
reconcile to the fact that her saving had been rendered worthless three
years ago by the decision of the Centre to demonetise the high denomination
Bhima, a hardworking woman living alone in her house at
Taiginyem in Bethoda, used to sell wood collected from forest.
She had rented a part of her house to migrant labourers
to make both ends meet.
The woman had saved the money for old age and funeral
expenses, and used to stash the banknotes in utensils, crannies and small
openings of the walls.
Bhima’s whole world came crashing down around when she
realised that her life’s saving is now nothing more than pieces of paper.
The Bethoda woman, who has 30 notes in
Rs 1000 denomination and 44 notes in Rs 500 denomination, earnestly
hopes that her notes will ‘come back to life’ with their usefulness.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the
demonetisation of currency notes in 2016, Bhima did not pay attention to the
implications of the decision, which had been pointed out to her by her
Bhima remembers lying to her sons when they had asked her
if she had any banknotes in the banned denominations.
“My sons had asked me whether I had notes in Rs 500 or Rs
1000 denominations. I had told them that I didn’t have any saving,” Gaonkar
recalls, hitting her forehead with hand in regret.
“Who knew such things will happen, and that someone
called Modi will turn our money worthless,” She rues.
Bhima, who has been afflicted with illnesses like blood
pressure and diabetes in the last few years, is dependent on Rs 2000 dole given
by the government under the Dayanand Social Security Scheme.
Her frequent falling sick has pushed up medical expenses.
The elderly woman was crestfallen when a pharmacist refused to accept her
banned notes when she went to the pharmacy to buy medicine.
Her sons are perplexed at the fact that their mother has
banned notes worth of Rs 52,000.
Bhima lives alone in her house, while two sons and their
families live in separate houses.
Source:: The Navhind Times