How #DeMo ruined rural India while you were forwarding WhatsApp messages

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The urban middle-class—armed with a variety of financial devices like fixed deposits, credit and debit cards, stocks and mutual funds, gold and real estate, etc—is blase about the ill-effects of demonetisation.

Stock phrases like “short-term pain, long-term gain” trip off their tongues.

Not so the rural underclass.

Seven days after Narendra Modi‘s 8 pm address on November 8, Devadeep Purohit of The Telegraph, Calcutta, travelled 140 km from Calcutta and met four people to hear their stories.

This week, after after the RBI put an official seal on the #DemonetisationDisaster, the reporter went back to meet the same four people to see  how their lives had changed in the last ten months.

# Uday Hazra, the affluent farmer, had to sell his produce at throwaway prices because his buyers didn’t have money to pay. He has had to stop visiting his daughters in Bangalore and Ahmedabad because of cost-cutting.

# The monthly income of Shiv Shambu Das, the farmer labourer, came down from Rs 5,000 to Rs 2,000. He told his daughter Uma to skip classes because he could not afford the money for her daily commute to college.

# Sarashi Jasan Samanta, the fertiliser shopkeeper, has had to shut down his fertiliser shop as his customers did not have money to buy fertilisers and he is short of capital to keep it running. Income down from Rs 7,000 to Rs 2,500.

# As demand for chicken fell, Samir Sahana, the poultry farm owner, has had to delay buying a chicken feather removing machine costing Rs 12,000 as he had to sustain his family.

Read the full story: While RBI was counting demonetised notes