‘Handwritten notes’ replace currency notes in Mizoram village

Mizoram Academy of Fine Arts, Aizawl

As the whole country is gripping to cope with the current cash crisis post demonetisation process of the Indian Government, residents of Khawbung village in Mizoram, a remote village located along the India-Myanmar border, have taken to use of ‘paper coupons’ to continue their daily financial transactions in their villages.

PC Lalhmachhuana, a resident and grocery shop owner in this eastern Mizoram village, has convinced his fellow villagers that they should use pieces of paper as promissory notes to replace currency till the situation eases and new notes come into circulation.

“Due to cash shortage of smaller currency denominations like Rs 100 and Rs 50. It is almost impossible to buy or sell anything unless we make an alternate arrangement,” he told Times of India.

Following his suggestion, shopkeepers and vegetable-sellers have begun to accept pieces of paper as currency since Saturday. Customers, too, are happy to play along. The papers bear the amount and the signature of the issuer on them. The customer can use this piece of paper to buy other items from the same shop.

The culture of ‘Nghahloh Dawr‘ or unmanned street-side shops (shops without keepers) in Mizoram is quite common where customers can buy vegetables and fruits according to rates displayed on a leaf or plank and deposit money in a bottle at the shop. Buyers can also pick up change from the box.

“In Khawbung, We live in a close-knit society so we know each other by name and face so everyone knew that they wouldn’t be cheated of their hard-earned money,” Mapuia, a local activist added.

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