This is a heart-touching story of Kota siblings Sooraj (17 years) and Saloni (12 years) who were orphaned in 2013. Their father died due to natural cause long time back and their mother was murdered in 2013. They were daily wagers living a hand-to-mouth life. The siblings were living in a shelter home, where they informed the counselor about their family home in R.K. Puram area, Sarawada village. Upon investigating their house, the police found that their late parents have left them jewelry and a lifetime saving of Rs 96,500 in old notes of 1,000 (22 notes) and 500 (149 notes). Unfortunately, they couldn’t use the money because demonetization had rendered it useless.
The story dates back to November 8 last year, when the PM demonetized high-value notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. The last date of exchanging old currency at the RBI was set as March 31, 2017.
The CWC (Child Welfare Committee) chairman Mr. Hairsh Gurubaxani wrote a letter to RBI, requesting the bank to extend the deadline of exchanging note that has already passed. There were total 171 notes that needed to be exchanged. On March 22, the RBI wrote an email to CWC, informing them about its inability to exchange the old currency. Finding no way out of this problem, the clueless siblings decided to write an open letter to PM Narendra Modi, asking his help.
The brother wanted to invest his mother’s life-long saving as FD (Fixed Deposit) in his sister’s name. Therefore, the CWC decided to dispatch a hand-written letter to the PMO, seeking the PM’s intervention in this matter. The matter got nation attention when Kota MP Om Birla decided to raise this issue with the union government.
The prayers of Suraj and Saloni were answered when the PM decided to reply. Sympathizing with their situation, the PM not only transferred Rs 50,000 from the PMDG (Prime Minister’s Discretionary Fund), but also got them insured under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY). Moreover, the PM also released an insurance premium worth Rs 1,710 in advance, for next five years.
Addressing the children in his letter, the PM wrote that though the sanctioned amount and insurance cover might not suffice, considering the depth of their problem, however, he sincerely hoped that this money may relieve their burden to some extent.
When the entire nation is caught amidst farmer protests, tension at the Indo-Pak border and cow vigilantes causing violence, incidents like these remind us that the leaders are there to help. They may not have a magic wand to make our problems disappear, but at least, they’ll do their bit to relieve us in every situation.