Last week when 75-year old Sathi Bai went into a grocery store shop, she was greatly shocked to listen to the shop-keeper tell her that old money notes of 1000 and 500 denominations are no longer legal tender in the nation.
Living all alone in a small house at Varapuzha in Ernakulam, Sathi retired 20 years ago from the state veterinary section. Having absolutely no contact with all the outside world, Sathi leads a lonely existence cut off from all her relatives and neighbours.
She has no use for television, a phone and even a newspaper. I don’t have electricity here. I do n’t want it. I haven't any clue just how to employ a telly…never used a telephone either in my own entire life,” Sathi claims in all solemnity, while speaking to The News Minute.
She gets from the home just once in a while so that you can stock up vegetables and groceries.
“My pension is deposited into my bank account. I have to buy something I do is take the necessary sum and use it she says. The last two months saw her use the brand new notes that the bank dispensed within her monthly pension.
Not once did she suspect anything amiss. That others around her forgot to tell her about the recent demonetisation just adds to the whole mystery.
After shops started rejecting the old money she possessed, Sathi approached the Varapuzha division of State Bank of Travancore -where she has an account- in the initial week of January with a bag filled with old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.
She comes frequently to get her pension, and has an account here. Each time, she takes a minimal amount.
She had a whole couple of forbidden currency notes with her. It is often extended currently just for NRI accounts.
She was quite furious and made quite a picture, when we told her the same. I will be sure it was around Rs 5 lakh or so, even though we didn't count the whole amount,” says a senior official of the bank.
Found at the end of Bhagavathy Parambu in Varapuzha is Sathi’s home, a small two-roomed house amidst a lot of shrubs and creepers. Neighbours say that she doesn't enjoy anyone entering her compound, much less her house.
“ no one is spoken to by her. She's frightened to taste the food we sometimes offer. She stays cooped inside the home for weeks without opening the door. We never envisioned that she had such a huge quantity along with her. Had we known, we would have told her,” remarks Radha -Sathi’s neighbour.
Ask her about the bank occurrence, and Sathi denies it ever happened. “I don’t have any cash with me.” Coax her a little more, and she whispers: “ I never got to know Since I don’t read newspapers.”
She continues and thinks to get a moment: “Everyone is out to deceive me. They have a watch on my cash.
Prod her further, and you get a glance of the deep-seated tensions of insecurity that run through her troubled mind.
“All I had was my daughter. She expired years past. When I was quite young, my husband too passed away. I manage everything . People come here only to cheat me,” she shares, vaguely hinting at some past event when someone tricked her into parting together with her hard-won cash.
The Varapuzha Panchayat committee did offer to aid her get in contact together with the Reserve Bank of India, on getting to know her plight, but she just refused. Her reasoning is the fact that since she gets her monthly pension, she actually failed to desire anyone’s help.
Bank officials nevertheless say that it is a legal offence to retain old money notes, as well as in her event, a substantial variety of those.
But Sathi Won't budge. No one is going to get her to part with her money, she is insistent.
Upgrade: A police official told TNM Rs 4 lakh in old currency notes were retrieved and that the authorities and panchayat members raided on Tuesday evening Sathi's house.
The policeman nevertheless said that considering that the girl didn't know about demonetisation and is old, they'll request the income tax department to simply help her on what could be performed with the money and guidance her.