Noteban Effect: With no cash for cremation, man waits with wife's corpse

Dec 01, 2016, 18:24 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Representational Pic
Representational Pic

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation exercise has led to a cash crunch in the country with millions facing a daily strife in trying to organise money for regular needs. But the note ban led to a tragic turn of events recently when a 66-year-old couldn't cremate his wife for want of cash.

66-year-old Noida resident Munni Lal lost his wife Phoolvati, 61, to stomach cancer after a nine-month fight with the disease.

With no money to cremate her, Munni Lal waited next to her corpse for two days, NDTV reported.

Munni Lal, a daily wage labourer, lit incense sticks near the body, put up a plastic tent and waited for his sons who had gone to withdraw cash.

"I called my sons one hour later. For two days I have been by her body. We finally cremated her today. Three days I had to wait because I had no money," Munni Lal, who lives in a one-room house in Noida near Delhi, with his family of five, told NDTV.

After Modi's unexpected ban on the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, Munni Lal found it difficult to withdaw cash from the ATMs and the local bank branch turned him away, saying it had no cash. This despite his three sons having more than Rs. 16,000 in the bank. "They went to withdraw money but the bank officials said there is no money," said Lal.

His neighbours tried to help and approached the bank, but to no avail.

A cop and a politician reportedly offered some money to Lal, but he refused it since he felt his wife would not have approved of "borrowing money for her cremation". On Wednesday, the bank managed to give the family Rs. 15,000 and Munni Lal was finally able to cremate Phoolvati.

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