Seventy-six-year-old Sathi Bai, who made headlines in January for not having heard about the Centre’s demonetisation, passed away at Varapuzha in Ernakulam district on Thursday night. Sathi, who had stashed away Rs 4 lakh in old currency notes, realised to her horror in January that her money was no longer legal tender. Despite efforts, she was unable to convert her old notes until her last breath.
When Sathi Bai’s predicament came to light in January, the police and Varapuzha panchayat members had tried to help her exchange the old notes but were unable to do so as the deadline had already passed.
“We had formed an action committee, arranged all the documents and went to Chennai with her to get it exchanged. But from there they said that the time limit was over and they need permission from Ministry. We also approached the ministry and gave petitions regarding this. But nothing was fruitful,” Poly TP, one of the panchayat ward member told TNM.
“She was suffering from heart and kidney disease, we shifted her to a care home few weeks ago since she was very weak. We were there with her when she was shifted to hospital also. She died last night,” he added. She was receiving treatment at the Ernakulam General Hospital.
Living all alone in a small house, Sathi retired 20 years ago from the state veterinary department. Having absolutely no contact with the outside world, she had received no information about demonetisation. In the first week of January, she went out to get groceries from a shop. It was then she learnt that her Rs 1000 note was no longer legal tender.
Despite taking the old notes amounting to Rs 4 lakh to the nearby bank, she was unable to exchange the cash as the deadline had passed.
The cash Sathi Bai had stashed away was the amount she had received at the time of her retirement. Bank officers had then told The News Minute then that she had about Rs 10 lakh deposited in her account other than this money.
Later the panchayat members and police raided her house and found that the cash was kept in a plastic cover and kept on the shelf. The cash was seized by the police, who offered to help her exchange it.
Sathi lived alone and in fear that someone would take away her money.
“All I had was my daughter. She died years ago. My husband too passed away, when I was quite young. I manage everything all alone. People come here only to cheat me,” she had told TNM in January.
Read our detailed story in January about Sathi Bai : ‘What Demonetisation?’ Kerala woman steps out of isolation to find her money in old notes invalid