Following the immediate ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes that came like a bolt from the blue for many 'cash-strapped' Indians, the rush to banks on Thursday, when they all reopened, was quite obvious. Name any bank in any state, the crowd at the counters was massive when most sought to deposit the abolished Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes before the deadline.
Retired banker Namita Lahkar and her former colleague, from United Bank of India in Guwahati, another retired manager Pranab Bhuyan were at the Narengi Tiniali Branch to deposit their 500-s and 1,000-s. Seeing the hard time that the cashier and the branch manager were facing, amid the surging crowd, the two retired officers decided to pitch in.
"I went to the bank before 10 am. But it was total chaos there as only two people were handling it. They were literally helpless. I have worked for 35 years in UBI before I retired in 2012. I felt bad and offered to help them. The rush was so much that I and my former colleague had to work till 6 pm," Namita told Firstpost from Guwahati.
"The workload was four times than on an usual day," she said explaining the toll that the sudden decision to scrap the bigger denomination currency notes on the bankers.
Namita was graceful enough to help even more if required. "If they call us again tomorrow, we will go," she said. "Things should be normal within a month," Namita said.
Her selfless and voluntary service was known when her son Trideep Lahkar, a journalist from a news agency shared it on his Facebook account praising his mother.
"She went to the bank to deposit the banned currency notes and withdraw the new ones. When she reached the Narengi Tiniali Branch of United Bank of India this morning, it was a sea of people with just two existing staff - a cashier and the manager. They were clueless on how to handle such a huge crowd.
"She retired from the same bank five years ago. She, along with a former manager who also came to take new notes, realised that it would be next to impossible for just two employees to handle such a huge and maddening rush. And today is just the first day!
"She and the retired manager voluntarily offered their services again, after many years. The existing two staff of the branch didn't believe it and they had nothing to say. Their faces said everything with spontaneous smile of relief.
She is my mother Namita Lahkar," Trideep wrote on his Facebook timeline. The post had got over 1,4oo likes and at least 210 shares when this piece was being posted.