As most of the rural economy comes to a standstill, a small village resorts to handwritten notes to ease their daily transactions, writes Neha Pant

Bordering Myanamar, Khawbung, is a small village in the north eastern region of Mizoram that has found a creative way of dealing with the cash crunch resulting from demonetization. The residents are now using hand-written notes or paper currency to keep up with their day to day financial needs.

The idea first came to PC Lalhmachhuana who owns a hardware store and is a resident of the village and he convinced his fellow villagers to use pieces of paper as promissory notes until the currency situation improves and there are enough notes in circulation. In an interview he said that, “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.”

Since he first floated the idea, other shopkeepers and vegetable sellers too have followed suit and are now accepting notes in lieu of money. These notes are now being called “I owe yous.” By signing these ‘I owe yous’ , the buyer can hand the piece of paper back to the shopkeeper and take whatever she needs until she can visit the bank to reimburse the amount in real money.

Being a small community that is familiar with each other, the policy has not been hard to implement and besides that, Mizoram has always been famous for its street shops that are often unmanned. Known as Nghahloh Dawr, it allows people to buy whatever they need according to the rates displayed and deposit their money in a box nearby.

Quite a creative way of keeping their largely agrarian economy moving,

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