DNA: Mumbai: Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
An emotional trip back to his locked home turned tumultuous for a 17-year-old orphan boy who has been living with his 12-year-old sister in a child care home in Kota, Rajasthan.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the boy visited his mother's home in Sarawada village which is about 60 km from Kota. There he found Rs 96,000 stuffed in his mother's pillow, which came as quite a shock, said the report, as the siblings had said they didn't have much to begin with.
However, the worse for the kids was yet to come. The Rs 96,000 that the boy found stuffed in the pillow was in the old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes that his mother - who was allegedly murdered by a man she was in a relationship with - may have saved and stashed away. The father, a truck driver, had walked out on the family before that.
In a bid to deposit the now de-commissioned notes, the boy went to the Reserve Bank of India to explain his plight. However, this was on March 22, much after the last date set by the government to accept the old notes. However, he was turned away.
He has now written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, explaining his situation, a hard copy of which will be mailed to the PM's office.
In it the report said, he said, "Please listen to our Mann ki Baat, Modiji. Humare aage peeche koi nahin (We don’t have any relatives)… our father left us when we were young and our mother was murdered. We want to deposit the money back with the government. please help us at the earliest.”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has sought a response from the government and from the RBI as to why individuals were not allowed to deposit the old notes till March 31, 2017. The window to deposit these notes closed on December 30, 2016. Only NRIs who were not in the country at the time of demonetization, are now being allowed to deposit the old notes till March 31. The RBI refused to answer the same question asked through an RTI query saying it didn't come under the definition of 'information' under the Right to Information Act.
Meanwhile, the Indian Express report said that a Kota MP Om Birla had come forward and said, "We will request the government to address this. If it isn't possible due to legal issues, we hope to raise Rs 50,000 for them with the help of the public. We will take care of their education and the residents of Kota will pool in money for the girl's marriage when the time comes. We are ready to take care of them."