Chinnakkannu with the demonetised currency notes at the Krishnagiri Collectorate on Monday.   | Photo Credit: BASHKARAN N

Five years after the old currency notes were rendered void, a blind destitute man in his 70s carrying wads of demonetised notes was led into the Collectorate by a good Samaritan. Chinnakannu, the man, who led life on the streets was on the throes of desperation as he held out wads of cash of what would be his life’s earnings long rendered invalid.

Mr. Chinnakannu had never heard of demonetisation until Sunday, when he discovered the currency notes totalling ₹65,000 that he had stacked away at some point and either forgot about them or could not find them in time for use.

That money was his earnings from a life on the streets, seeking alms in and around his Chinnagoundanur village, in Pavakkal panchayat in Krishnagiri.

In a neatly written petition to the District Collector, bearing his thumb impression, Mr. Chinnakannu narrated his plight of having lost his life’s earnings because he did not know of demonetisation and that nobody told him about it. He wanted the Collector to compensate him with new currency.

With only ₹300 as last of his savings, Mr. Chinnakkannu was worried about how he would find food once he ran out of cash, said Kannayyan, the cobbler who chanced upon the old man. Moved by his plight Mr. Kannayyan brought him to the Collectorate.

While the petition was forwarded by the District Revenue Officer to the District Lead Bank Manager to be referred to the Reserve Bank of India, an official source said, the currency exchange was unlikely. “There is no possibility of exchange of currency since as per the RBI guidelines, the last date was March 31, 2017. It is no more a legal tender as per the Government of India,” he said.

The District Lead Bank will forward the case to the RBI and wait for their response, said a bank official.

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