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Khazanchi: Born in Bank Queue, Living in Squalor Since Demonetisation

The infant boy, on whose tiny shoulders a lot of politics was played and who became a ‘brand ambassador’ against demonetisation, is now set to celebrate his first birthday.

News18.com

Updated:November 6, 2017, 2:46 PM IST
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Khazanchi: Born in Bank Queue, Living in Squalor Since Demonetisation
Khazanchi, the boy who was born while his mother was standing in the bank line after the demonetisation move by PM Narendra Modi.
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New Delhi: When people across the country were queuing up outside banks to withdraw cash after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that high-value currency notes would be demonetised, a woman standing in line outside a bank gave birth to a baby boy. The bank staff named the boy ‘Khazanchi’ (treasurer). The infant boy, on whose tiny shoulders a lot of politics was played and who became a ‘brand ambassador’ against demonetisation, is now set to celebrate his first birthday.

The Rs 2 lakh he received as aid has gone in expenses over the last one year. Khazanchi’s father had passed away before he was even born and now, his brother is suffering from tuberculosis. His mother was asked by her in-laws to leave the house and she now struggles as a manual labourer to make ends meet.

On November 8, Prime Minister Modi announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would cease to be legal tender after midnight. His address to the nation was followed by people across the nation flocking to banks. One of the millions outside banks was Sarvesha, a resident of Napur Dehat district’s Sardarpur Jogi Dera village. On December 2, Sarvesha, nine months pregnant at the time, was standing in line outside a Punjab National Bank (PNB) branch at 9 am. Morning turned to evening and Sarvesha started to experience labour pain but the bank staff did not let her cut the line.

Around 4 pm, on the steps of the bank, Sarvesha gave birth to a boy. The bank staff decided to name the boy Khazanchi. The story of Khazanchi caught the nation’s imagination when then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav started to retell it at almost every election rally he addressed in the poll-bound state. Yadav announced that his government had given Khazanchi’s family aid of Rs 2 lakh and used the incident to launch a scathing attack on the Central government.

During the election campaign, Khazanchi, who was not yet old enough to understand it, had become a star. Ask anyone in Kanpur Dehat where Khazanchi lived and they would point you in the right direction. His mother saw the Rs 2 lakh aid as a boon. But happy days did not last very long for the family.

Before passing away, Khazanchi’s father had left the family with a massive debt. Most of the Rs 2 lakh went in repaying it. The rest was spent in his brother’s treatment. Today, the family is almost penniless. “My brother-in-law did not let us live in the house anymore. That is why I came to my parents’ village of Anantpur. I now work as a farm labourer and earn a daily wage.”

Sarvesha says that she does not want any help for herself but just wants her son to have a good life. “My only request from the government is that they should ensure a good education for my son Khazanchi Nath and I hope that he lands a good job one day.”
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