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Two weeks later, people still spending long nights outside banks

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 Nov 2016 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, Nov 23: A chill has set in at 10 pm when the first customers start gathering outside a small SBI branch in Geeta Colony in east Delhi with the aim of drawing cash when it opens in the morning. “I will spend the night here,” Surender Sahni, who deals in second hand motorcycles said as he sat down on the pavement outside the bank branch and covered his face with a shawl to beat the chill. “I joined the bank queue two days back two hours after midnight. But by then there were already 150 people ahead of me,” he said. Within minutes, more people trickle in, armed with blankets and shawls, also ready to spend the night under the open sky — because they need money which is constantly running short all across India. Rahul, one of the next two men who come, tells Sahni to keep their place in the queue safe so that they can go to a dhaba for dinner. Akbar, a resident of Rani Garden, is desperate to exchange his demonetised money for fresh legal tender. Signs of fatigue are writ large on his face. He said that there was nothing to eat at home as they were without money. “No food was prepared at our house tonight,” he said. His wife joined the queue during the day twice but the bank ran out of cash before her turn arrived. The SBI branch at Geeta Colony is no exception to night queues. This has now become a common sight all across the Indian capital — and in numerous places across the country. When this correspondent visited a Punjab tiol Bank branch in the residential colony of Radhey Puri, also in east Delhi, there were dozens in a queue outside the branch. (ians)

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