A farmer in Telangana's Mahabubabad district was startled after seeing his hard-earned money amounting to ₹2 lakh torn into pieces, and the evildoers were none other than rats.
Redya Naik, a vegetable vendor of Indiranagar Thanda in Vemunur village, had kept the money in an almirah at his house and had saved it for his abdominal surgery.
Out of the total amount, some of it was borrowed from his relatives. All the shredded cash was in the denomination of ₹500.
"It was all my savings after selling vegetables. I had tucked the cash in a cotton bag. When I opened the bag, I was shocked to see that the rats damaged all the Rs 500 currency notes," Naik said while speaking to The Times of India.
Banks Refuse To Exchange
Naik earns a living by selling vegetables on his two-wheeler. After the incident, he approached a local bank to exchange the notes, however, the officials refused. Instead, he was advised to approach the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in Hyderabad to narrate his ordeal.
Earlier, the RBI had instructed the banks to exchange notes that are excessively soiled, brittle, or are burnt and cannot withstand normal handling at the Issue Office of the RBI. However, notes nibbled by rodents do not fall in the category.
"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," he told The Times of India.
Naik had developed a lump in his stomach after suffering from severe stomach aches. After the initial tests, the doctors had advised him to go to Hyderabad for surgery, costing around ₹4 lakh.
Minister Assures Help
Soon after learning about the tragic loss of the vegetable farmer, Telangana Minister for Tribal, Women and Child welfare Satyavathi Rathod offered help and assured him to bear the expenses for his surgery in whichever hospital he wants, besides rendering him financial assistance.
In addition, she deputed Mandal Revenue Officer to meet the farmer personally and console him, reported The Tribune.