Cash Crunch: Pay Day Fails To Bring Cheer To Domestic Helps In Delhi

Standing in long queues while managing work alongside posing a big challenge for domestic helps.

New Delhi: The first of every month brings cheer to most domestic helps in the country as they go back home with a heavier purse containing a wad of cash. In wake of big currency ban, however, the pay day has greeted them with worries.

Mithoo Biswas, a domestic help in New Delhi looks after her family of four in Bengal. She ensures to send enough cash so that they can take care of the household expenses.

She rues, “My mother called this morning saying she has no money and is surviving by borrowing money from others.”

Standing in long queues is a challenge for a working lady like her. “There are long lines at banks. It takes 2-3 hours. We also have to manage that with our work. I can’t stand in the line all day,” she says.

Like Ms Biswas, Aashima, another domestic help in the national capital, is facing tough times.

She says, “I used to get my salary on the first of every month, but I have come back empty handed today. My employers say they are ready to give me a cheque, also ready to transfer money in my account as they do have new notes, but I don’t hold a bank account.”

Her trip to the bank to open a new account also turned futile. She says, “I went to the bank to open my account but was told that they will not open new accounts till January.”

20 days after the demonetisation announcement, for those at the fringes of banking and even further from the digital economy, an otherwise cheerful pay day has turned out to be a cause of worry.

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