For harried Chennaiites, help is at hand to deal with demonetisation's demons

In search of volunteers, Chennai Tri-colour Initiative shared a simple Google-form on social media, which brought together 60 volunteers.

Published: 16th November 2016 12:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th November 2016 11:30 AM   |  A+A-


People wait outside an ATM kiosk. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: All ye among the old and tired, workers from all over the country, women who can't wait to rush back to chores getting piled up at home by the minute, and also formals-clad office-goers who are late for work and NRIs and foreigners, who are all part of the never-ending lines before banks, fret not, help is at hand.

To ease the pressure on bank staff by facilitating easy transaction, Chennai Tri-colour Initiative -- a people's movement that started after last December's massive floods to kindle the spirit of volunteering and community participation -- decided to step in, and sought out volunteers to help people deal with the basic but rather harrowing process of depositing or withdrawing their money in these demonetised times.

"We realised that there were so many illiterate people who needed help at the banks. And in the midst of all the confusion that is already going on, the bank staff find it hard to explain various procedures to people. That's where I thought we should step in," said Vijay Anand, one of the founders of the Chennai Tri-colour Initiative.

There couldn't be a better time. Masses have been lining up before banks in queues that stretch for quite some distance. Panic and confusion writ large on their faces, they ask: 'Which line is for exchange? Where do I deposit? The ATM is not working! Where do I collect the form? I can't read or write. Can you fill this for me?' The handful of bank staff dealing with the chaos of demonetisation can use all help that they can get.

In search of volunteers, the organisation shared a simple google-form on social media, which brought together 60 volunteers from across the city in one evening, and 200 more have signed up for helping through the rest of the week.

Vijay and his team deployed the team of volunteers at the biggest bank of them all, the State Bank of India (SBI) on Tuesday. "Of the 210 branches in Chennai, 50 have been identified as critical. They will be our first set," he said. However if the number of volunteers increases, they are willing to help any bank that might need assistance.

Anusha, a volunteer at the Thiruvanmyur branch of SBI, found her day extremely productive. "We made sure people followed the right lines, we helped people fill up or proofread their forms, we assisted senior citizens. Basically we were a check-point before they met the bank staff. We take over crowd control, while the bankers deal with the transactions peacefully," she said.

Vijay Anand added that they are even trying to organise a helpline that would help people with their queries. To sign-up and volunteer with Chennai Tri-colour Initiative check


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