As old small denomination currency notes are re-circulated, bank employees have been falling ill with rashes, respiratory problems, asthma and sleeplessness, by handing the old pesticide ridden notes.
In an attempt to help the lower denomination currency crunch the country is facing since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move, and to prepare for payday chaos, Reserve Bank of India reportedly re-introduced old small denomination currency that had been withdrawn as a part of its ‘clean note’ policy.
The old notes that were too dirty to be used had once been collected through banks and then sprinkled with pesticide to keep the notes from disintegration. These same notes have been brought back which are triggering health complications for those who handle them, especially bank personnel.
Many bank employees have fallen ill due to fungal, dust and pesticide infection after handling the notes. As the old notes often get stuck in the counting machine, they have to be counted and handed manually.
Banks have directed employees to use masks while handling the notes, but the precaution is so far not fully effective as employees are still facing health issues.
RBI had recalled the old dirty small denomination notes in 2001 as a part of the ‘Clean Note’ policy.