Mumbai rushes to banks after Centre puts Rs 500 in Jan-Dhan accounts

Updated: Apr 08, 2020, 07:31 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

Social distancing takes a hike after daily wage workers stand close together in long queues for a fraction of what is needed to tide them over for a month, hope for more relief

People queued outside a Bank of India branch in Malwani on Tuesday after receiving Rs 500 in their accounts
People queued outside a Bank of India branch in Malwani on Tuesday after receiving Rs 500 in their accounts

The Centre on Tuesday credited R500 to over four crore Jan-Dhan accounts of women as part of its relief package amid the Coronavirus lockdown. However, the SMS alert led to hundreds of people thronging to banks and once again, breaking social distancing protocol.

Mumbai police felt helpless amid the crowds that kept swelling throughout the day. In Malwani, everyone including the elderly and children were seen near a Bank of India branch which is a stone's throw away from the local police station.

Monish Siddique

mid-day spoke to a few people who said that they had been running short of cash in the lockdown.

"Today I got an SMS alert on my mobile saying that my account has been credited with R500. So I rushed to the bank. But I will have to wait for my turn because the queue is long," said a woman in the queue.

"My wife Kaniz Fatima's account was credited with R500. I am a welder and I survive on daily wages. I haven't earned a penny since the lockdown began and there are 11 members in my family including my brother, parents, and wife and children," said Monish Siddique.

He added that his family would need at least R15,000 to buy ration for the month. "I hope the government helps people till the lockdown lasts," Siddique added.

Resident of Ambuj Wadi area, Pooja Kashyap, 18, also went to the bank to withdraw the R500 but it closed before her turn came. She returned empty-handed, hoping for better luck the next day.

Kashyap has seven members in her family. She and her sister have Jan-Dhan accounts in Dena Bank. Their father is an autorickshaw driver.

Another Ambuj Wadi resident, Gudia Kashyap, also faced a similar fate and had to return. Gudia and two from her family have a Jan-Dhan account.

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