No Money, Honey

A Look At The Demonitization On Campus

Mathangi N.M., II Year B. A. English and Mercy Johny, II Year B. A. English.

Long queues, ceaseless complaints and no cash. Add in a set of confused people attempting to clear each other’s doubts, and an apt scene for the demonetisation situation can easily be pictured. Although a few weeks have passed, most are still reeling from the announcement. As we find out the impacts of demonetisation, we uncover the woes, as well as the lessons learnt from such incidents, from both students and teachers.

With the universal rule of “parental restrictions” being imposed on every young student out there, and a specific amount given to them for each month’s expenditure, those from hostels have also especially suffered from this sudden, drastic change. However, while a few of them were away during the vacation, those who stayed back admitted that while basic requirements could be bought, other sources of enjoyment would have to be foregone.

The most common complaint that most of them had was the lack of change at a few stores they had visited. “It would be simple for those who have credit cards, but for those who do not have that privilege, it would be quite difficult,” said a first year student. “There are several stores that do not accept cards, as well. Neither do they have the required change. It becomes tiresome to go in search for stores that actually serve the purpose of helping people, in such cases.”

“Our van driver has begun charging an extra amount of Rs.500, to accept the Rs. 2000 note,” said another student. She, however, does not know if this charge will go back to the normal rate once everything settles down. Similarly, shopping for petty items and buying food from the canteen, which is every college student’s “fundamental need,” has become yet another task as they struggle to hunt for change in their wallets.

WhatsApp messages, coupled with amusing memes and posts making the rounds, managed to deceive those gullible enough to believe any false information. But there were pros to it as well. “For those who regularly rely on WhatsaApp for information, some messages even let us know how we could cope up with the effects or even sent links to let us know which ATMs had cash,” said a student.

A teacher also narrated the struggle she underwent while having to make a payment at a hospital. When an urgent need arose, she said, “I had to rely on my friends for money as the ATMs were either closed, or out of cash.” With reliance getting shifted from machines to human help, many also admitted to learning from the support that they received during this time from empathetic shopkeepers and other sellers.

As stated earlier, the hostellers on campus continue to face hurdles every day due to demonetisation. Grocery spending, eating outside, watching a movie are all out of the question; spending money has become a limited affair and just a week or so into college, they have started to assemble in front of the ATMs.

The biggest problem that most hostel dwellers have complained about is related to travel. “We don’t usually carry money, we just use our cards. We use cash only when we have to travel.” As luck would have it, most of them were in their hometowns before the announcement of the demonetisation act.

Stellaites, along with the rest of the society, have not been spared by the bad hand of demonetisation. Yet we see us helping each other when in times of need and teaching each other more about this ambitious change every day. One can only hope that things will settle down and significant, positive changes will occur in the future.

[Photograph Source: The Economic Times]

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