Being a part of Indian diplomatic service, I had occasion to travel/work across the length and breadth of the world in many countries for our motherland and out of the experience gathered, some point emerged which I thought I should share for betterment of our currency maintenance and circulatory system. Hardly any country may be found where the citizens of that particular country handle the currency of that respective country the way majority of us Indian public are used to when it comes to handling the currency.
Money is a thing which has or knows no caste, creed, religion, etc. Have we ever wondered, a money donated in religious place, what were its routes before and it had run into the hands of so many people of different caste, creed, religion, etc. and even passed the hands of anti-social elements, workers indulged in illegal business, etc. It is said ‘Lakshmi Mata’, ‘Lakshmi Maiya’ etc. but when it comes to handling the currency which is in fact Goddess Lakshmi, we find that proper treatment is not meted out to the currency. Any layman can find even the bank employees or any commercial organization/businessmen or even general public, dig out currency notes from different bundles and to keep a track of the currency left in one bundle, they just do not mind entering numerical figures on the currency itself apart from licking and spitting on the currency to get required friction while counting.
Can anyone find currency notes like US Dollar, Great Britain Pound Sterling or European currency Euro having any such handwritten markings or blemishes on their respective currency(ies). For that matter, even Indians who are in the habit of making markings on the Indian notes do not do so when it comes to foreign currency. Then why this awkward behaviour only in case of Indian currency? Why we find such a trend only in India? Is it due to the gross indiscipline amongst us or is it due to any other factor, be it inborn undisciplined attitude, take it easy policy or a ‘chalta hai’ attitude, etc.
What is necessary is therefore evolving some such scheme like ‘Swachchh Rupiya Abhiyan‘, whereby the soiled or hand-written markings on the currency note should be made automatically invalid and banks discard such currencies having blemishes/writings on it and gradually such currencies be phased out of circulation. Once the currency becomes unfit for circulation or is made invalid due to above reason(s), then the habit of paying disregard like keeping the currency inside blouse, or under the gunny bags and sitting over it or writing or spitting on the currency notes, etc. itself will become a history.
Such an abhiyan will lead to cent per cent discipline among us as any such writing or mishandling of the currency note(s) will lead to loss to the holder of the currency.
We speak of ‘Swachchh Bharat Mission’, ‘Safai Abhiyaan/Cleanliness Drive’ etc. and have fixed a time-frame to make India really neat and clean. Similar such initiative is required with respect to Indian currency as still the country has many years to pass when one might expect a nation becoming fully digital and do away with the system of physical currency. The proposed Abhiyaan could be named something like ‘Currency Cleanliness Drive’ or ‘Swachchh Rupiya Abhiyan‘.