With no ID proof, old currencies wear down domestic helps

There are many domestic workers like Krishnaveni who have been severely affected by the demonetisation of the notes.

Published: 12th November 2016 01:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th November 2016 07:40 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The social media may be full of memes on politicians sulking with their bundles of corrupt money now rendered useless. Meanwhile, another section of society at the other end of the spectrum is really feeling the pinch – they are the domestic maids.
With no proper identity cards, bank accounts and lack of guidance on how to exchange the notes, many of them are still running from pillar to post not knowing what to do with the old currencies and how to meet their every day needs.

V Krishnaveni, working as a maid in a hostel, was full of smiles on Tuesday evening when she received her salary of Rs 6,000 (all in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000) and safely kept the cash in her locker. But the next day, when she reached the bank at around 10 am to deposit money for her grandchildren, she learned from the watchman about the recent announcement to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
“First I was confused and upset. I immediately rushed to the ladies hostel where I work as a housekeeper. I almost went to every room to check if there was any girl who could help me to reach the money to my grandchildren. Unfortunately, all had gone to work,” said Krishnaveni.
“On Thursday, I rushed to the bank at 8 am and waited in the queue for almost an hour. It was only after that did I realise that it was mandatory to have an identity proof. But I had lost my proof years ago. It was destroyed, when my daughter committed suicide by immolating herself in the house. After that I did not apply for any identity proof. I rushed back to the hostel and made my son-in-law come all the way from Kumbakkonam to collect Rs 5,000 from me,” said Krishnaveni.
There are many domestic workers like Krishnaveni who have been severely affected by the demonetisation of the notes. Most of them are running from pillar to post to find a person who can help them exchange the notes or deposit the money. But with long queues in the banks, they are still finding it difficult to find such volunteers.

In another case, Savitha (55), who works in a house at Guindy, said that she had to ask more than five persons to help her exchange the Rs 1,000 note as she did not have an identity proof. “All the banks are so crowded and people are busy exchanging notes for themselves. Again to stand in the long queue and exchange notes for me is difficult and I was denied by five persons,” she points out.
Speaking to Express, Clarammal Panipitchai, convenor of the Tamil Nadu Domestic Workers Union, said, “In the past two days around 25 people approached us seeking help to exchange the notes. Only about 10 per cent of the domestic workers have Aadhaar cards and other identity proof.”
“The announcement has left domestic-help workers in a lurch. Most of them are not aware of who to approach and how to get the money exchanged,” she adds.

TNEB extends deadline for paying electricity bills using demonetised notes till November 14 midnight
Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board on Friday extended the deadline to pay power bills using demonetised D500 and D1,000 notes by three days, till midnight of November 14. The extension follows the Centre extending the date of paying the utility bills by three days. The earlier deadline was to end on November 11 midnight.


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