Demonetisation takes toll on West Bengal’s rural traders’ mental health

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Centre’s demonetisation decision is taking toll on the mental health of many cash strapped businessmen in rural areas of West Bengal whose entire sales are in cash.

Demonetisation

Within a couple of days of the announcement, a potato wholeseller started having panic attacks since he has about Rs 50 to Rs 60 lakh of the perishable agriculture produce lying in a cold storage.

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He buys potato on credit in bulk and sells it in cash to smaller traders but now, as a result of cash crunch, there are no buyers.

“The wholeseller fears that his entire stock will go waste, incurring him a huge loss. He was suffering from panic and anxiety attacks and thought he will die,” Senior consultant psychiatrist Sanjay Garg told PTI.

According to psychiatrists, they have been getting a significant number of patients suffering from mental stress after the centre’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.

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Garg said that most of such patients are from middle and upper-middle class families belonging from rural Bengal where the reach of plastic money is limited.

Another psychiatrist Santasree Gupta said, “One of her patient is a 50-year-old widow who inherited Rs 30 lakh in cash savings from her deceased husband.

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“She had plans to buy a flat and spend the rest of the amount in her son’s marriage. And now she is feeling very insecure. She had to put her on short-term medication to help her control the stress,” Gupta said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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