Impact of Demonetization on Visually Impaired
The country is shaken by Demonetization. Amidst this hustle and bustle, the scenario of Visually impaired is entirely different. Of course, government provided a day for senior citizens and persons with disabilities to carry out the bank endeavours conveniently but was that enough? It’s been around a month and still the banks are packed with crowd and long queues.
In my case, I too stood in line for an hour or so for taking out cash from ATM and I personally didn’t ask the officials for any extra attention because I could sense the frustration of other people who had already been in the line since long. Apart from this instance, I have been making most of my payments through internet banking. When I talked to people about their experiences of Demonetization, I realized that there are two positive and two negative sides of Demonetization in the case of persons with disabilities:
- Many people who know how to use assistive technology are making use of it and digital ways for making payments. From buying vegetables to making payments for bills, they are making use of internet. Being a visually challenged person or wheelchair bound, they have adapted to these advanced ways to run their routine. It was a necessity for them and so they embraced it. And during this period of demonetization, they hardly have any wrinkle on their forehead.
- There are some people who said that they hardly faced any difficulty in getting their currency exchanged or getting money from ATM. They collectively agreed that bank officials were very cooperative and didn’t make them stand in queues for long. In some of the banks, the officials swiftly filled the forms for exchange and got the task done without any trouble.
- Since most of the people are not really skilled or cannot afford assistive technologies, they are facing a lot of difficulties. The situation is even worse wherein the banks are not at all cooperative. Of course, when the bank officials are already grilled with so much workload, their frustration does not allow them to get any lenient towards persons with disabilities. And the instances wherein the banks have extended their hand towards PWDs are mostly of metro cities.
- Since the currency has got exchanged, visually challenged people will have to spend a considerable time on getting familiar with the notes. Since there is no braille sign on notes and the layout has also been totally changed, it won’t be a cake walk for visually challenged people to get acquainted with it easily. The situation can get even worse for old visually challenged people because their sense of touch is not going to be as alert as it once was.
No doubt, the move has been initiated for the welfare of the country but it seems that the action has been taken in a hurry. Motive was absolutely noble but the way could have been little more users friendly.