Prime Minister Narendra Modi authorized Rs 50,000 for a brother-sister duo in Kota, Rajasthan who had found Rs 96,500 in the form of 171 demonetised bank notes, months after the government’s December 31 deadline to exchange such notes. According to reports, the children, Sooraj Banjara (17) and his sister Saloni (9) are orphans and live in a shelter home.
According to a Hindustan Times report, apart from the money sanctioned from the Prime Minister’s Discretionary Fund (PMDF), the children were also insured under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana (PMJJBY). The insurance premium of Rs 1,710 has been released in advance for a period of five years.
After Reserve Bank of India expressed its inability to exchange such a large number of notes, the children wrote an open letter, on March 25, to the Prime Minister seeking help. They received a letter from the PM’s office dated June 6, where Modi expressing his sympathy, sanctioned money which was transferred to their accounts.
“Although the sanctioned amount and insurance premium may not be sufficient for resolution of your problems, but I am sure that such assistance will certainly reduce your problems to some extent,” PM Modi said in the letter, according to the HT report.
Apart from PM Narendra Modi, some social organisations also donated Rs 25,000 to the siblings a couple of months ago. The money was set aside by the children’s mother. It was found in March when the Kota child welfare committee took the children to their paternal house in Sahrawada village.
The house was locked after the siblings had been moved to the children’s home four years ago when their mother was murdered. Their father had died earlier.
The union government on November 8, 2016 announced ban on currency notes of Rs. 1000 and 500 and set a deadline by March 31, 2017 for the exchange of such notes from RBI.