If it wasn’t the note ban and tailing event, this might have been an enthralling year-end, possibly for bank employees. It came with no notice, silent like an impending storm just crushing down their days. But there is no complaint, after all, they are being called the subtle warriors of financial India. Served the country throughout the demonetization, bridging between refurbishing economy and the common man. Being a bank employ was one of the prestigious professions in 2016 due to the matter of fact that it was a financially theatrical year. Even before demonetization had happened bank employees had to juggle with figures to call it a day. But demonetization took things a bit further apart. Many spend their day in banks to making it their second home, sacrificing the comfort with their family and skipping the joy for a while.
The level of enlightenment they spread, the depth of forbearance they exhibited and the breeze of solace they blew that eliminated the trepidation made them the wingless angels for struggling man. To give some idea let us go by the timeline:
The eve of November 8th: A day like as usual, no wind of dismay, or no sound of agony, just the usual number game, and struggle. As usual, the day end by 5.00 pm for most and some overtime bees stayed. Since it was a surgical strike against black money, no prior notifications were given to any banks in India. The RBI played a clean sheet in wiping the dirt off Indian soil. All on a sudden what possibly could have been a resting night turned into a thunderstorm for most! The news flashed over from every nuke and corner of the TV screen announcing a demonetization of denominations above 100 rupees. Swapping across TV channels, grazing the internet, ringing colleagues- the night passed by as such. 9th of November was a bank holiday in service but employees were summoned for some important meetings.
The mighty 10th: Obviously most employees did anticipate a rush of people in the trauma of last day’s ordinance, but at a certain point things everything apparently seemed out of control. Thanks to the presence of mind unveiled by banks, they were able to control the crowd with right enlightenment which helped ease off many worry queries. 2000 rupee was the first denomination released by RBI, many public sector banks received their first batch of currency by 9th itself, but things were a bit different with other banks especially in the villages and countryside. Initially, the limit was restrained to 4000 rupees/ day, which indeed created a wave of puzzle among the public. People had to fill up a declaration along with proof of identity, which was a little cumbersome at first.
The crowd starts to grow in length as the morning fell. The hectic job wasn’t, in fact, the exchange but convincing the public. An average employee had to repeat the same verse over and over for some thousand times before it finally settled the crowd. But no issues, they set their temper sidelined and was ready to guide each and everyone as and when it was required. Some banks had an issue with the fund, as many ran out of new currency even before it was the end of the day. But the job wasn’t yet done, employees had to reckon and tally the cash balance before they can turn back home.
The first week after demonetization: A couple of days after 10th November went as such without much change. Even they had it working on Saturday and Sunday in the week of demonetization. With no complaint or regrets, they came to banks with smiling faces, ready to serve the public. From an interview with a Bank Manager, “It is once in a lifetime experience and we learned a lot from it. In fact, it is the first time the public gets to know how it is to be a bank employee. We have many staffs here who had to skip their lunch to stay focused on the job. If there was any drop in the level of dedication we imparted, this would have been a nightmare for the public, at least we could ease some of their worries”. By the end of the second week, new 500 rupee notes started to circulate among the major cities and metros. The ATM management was a bit of a headache as initially only 100 rupee notes were loaded, which exhaust in the blink of an eye. With new software modification now they are dispersing new 2000 and 500 rupees.
Now: One month after demonetization, things are apparently fine everywhere. The withdraw limit was raised to 24000/- rupees, which indeed helped the public. Bank employees are almost out of the hectic schedule, but still, they experience the mild rush in the bank than it was before demonetization.
One shouldn’t forget to applaud the allegiance unveiled by the bank and their employees. If it wasn’t them, we would have been in the middle of chaos with no guidance. As we supported demonetization by eating all hardships and discomforts, they did their part by working restlessly for over a month. Let us all join hands and be a part of that system, expecting a better tomorrow!