Income of India's tallest man drops due to demonetisation

Updated: Nov 19, 2016, 09:54 IST | Asif Rizvi |

In the city of high hopes, the country’s tallest man has been left down in the dumps, thanks to the currency withdrawal mess

Dharmendra Singh charges R20 a photo. Pic /Bipin Kokate
Dharmendra Singh charges R20 a photo. Pic /Bipin Kokate

In the city of high hopes, the country’s tallest man has been left down in the dumps, thanks to the currency withdrawal mess. Sure that he would make a killing charging Mumbaikars Rs. 20 for a selfie, 8.1 ft tall Dharmendra Singh, a native of Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh, here for Amber Mela at Chunnabhatti’s Somaiyya Grounds, has been twiddling his thumbs for the past week.

"I have visited several states and taken part in many events, exhibitions and melas. Everyone wants to take pictures with me and I charge Rs. 20 a photo. But, ever since the currency withdrawal announcement, there has been a drastic fall in the number of people wanting a picture with me. Earlier, around 100 people used to take pictures with me every day, but now it has come down to just 5-10. Some say they have only Rs. 1,000 or Rs. 500 notes and some say Rs. 20 is too much for a picture. I think everyone is trying to save their change," said 35-year-old Singh.

Despite having an MA in Hindi, Singh has been struggling to find a permanent job and, hence, decided to cash in on his height. "I noticed that everywhere I went, people wanted to take my pictures. I then started charging Rs. 20 a photo and people were happy to pay. It is my only source of income," Singh said.

Pujan Bhai, manager of Amber Mela, said, "The mela is in its fifth year. It starts after Diwali and goes on till December-end. But for the past week, we have had very few visitors."

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