In a heartbreaking incident, rats chewed up and destroyed Rs 2 lakh cash of a vegetable farmer in Vemunur village in Telangana’s Mahabubabad. Redya Naik had kept the cash in his almirah and had saved it for his abdominal surgery. He had borrowed some of the cash that the rats chewed from his relatives and kept it inside a bag in Rs 500 denomination. Naik, who sells vegetables on a two-wheeler, told Times of India that he had placed the notes in a cotton bag. “It was my savings after selling vegetables. I had kept the currency notes in a cotton bag. When I opened the bag, I was shocked to see that all the currency notes of Rs 500 were nibbled by the rats," the vegetable farmer was quoted as saying by TOI.
After he found the nibbled notes, Naik went to several local banks to exchange the notes, however, the bank officials refused to oblige. He said, “Not just one bank, I had gone to several banks in Mahabubabad but the officials said they cannot exchange the destroyed currency notes for fresh ones."
Naik was advised by the banks to approach the Reserve Bank of India with his condition. Although RBI had instructed the banks to exchange soiled and damaged currency notes, it had not mentioned anything about notes damaged by rats.
Naik suffered from severe stomach aches and had gone to the doctor for a consultation where he learned that he has a lump in his abdomen. He was then advised by doctors at a private hospital in Mahabubabad to get surgery that would cost Rs 4 lakh. As the news of Naik’s predicament broke, Telangana Minister for Tribal, Women and Child Welfare Satyavathi Rathod assured assistance to the farmer while adding that Naik would receive medical care for his ailment, The News Minute reported.
Rodents are not only causing such problems in India but in other countries as well. AP reported in May that Australia’s New South Wales is being threatened by a mouse plague that the state government described as “absolutely unprecedented.” Just how many millions of rodents have infested the agricultural plains across the state is guesswork.
Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall told AP, “We’re at a critical point now where if we don’t significantly reduce the number of mice that are in plague proportions by spring, we are facing an absolute economic and social crisis in rural and regional New South Wales."