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In Demonetised India, Ancient Barter System Is Here To Help

"Exchanging bhendi with atta."

17/11/2016 7:27 PM IST | Updated 17/11/2016 7:58 PM IST
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Two days into demonetisation, a tech entrepreneur's tweet about how he paid his auto driver with rice went viral. "Day 2 in Bombay with no cash - no ATMs working. Paid the autowalla 5kgs of rice from a store. Long live barter system," Gaurav Munjal said.

A week into the Modi government's demonetisation drive, the cash crunch hasn't eased up and it appears that more people are resorting to the ancient barter system.

A resident in Hyderabad recently paid for his vegetables by recharging the vendor's mobile phone. "Do you have mobile internet. If yes you can recharge my mobile for Rs. 100 thus pay the prize of vegetables," he told the customer.

While city dwellers are getting reacquainted with the barter system, villagers all over the country are making it work to get out of a tough situation.

In Odisha, for instance, Arakhita Mandal exchanged three kilograms of cauliflowers with a fisherman for a kg of fish. In Jharkhand, for instance, Dinu Mahto, got mustard oil and spices from his local shopkeeper in exchange for vegetables. "Instead of going to the market to sell our vegetables, we decided to give it to our shopkeeper and in return got some mustard oil and spices," he told TOI.

But not everyone is happy about barter, not even as stop gap measure.

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