PM Narendra Modi played the role of a father to two Kota orphans

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Three months back, two orphaned siblings in Kota had stumbled upon lifetime savings of their deceased parents locked away in a trunk. The discovery, however, didn’t help the kids as the RBI refused to exchange the currency, which was banned post demonetisation.

On the eve of Father’s Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent Rs 50,000 to one of the orphan siblings who had found demonetised currency notes worth Rs 96,500 at the paternal home in Kota in March.

16-year-old Suraj Banjara, on Friday, received a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi informing him that he has been sanctioned Rs 50,000 under Prime Minister’s Discretionary Fund (PMDF) and two insurance policies respectively under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY).

PM Modi has also released the insurance premium of Rs1,710 in advance for the period of next five years. “Possibly, the sanctioned amount and the insurance premiums may not be sufficient to resolve all of your problems, but I am sure the assistance would reduce your problems to some extent,” the PM wrote to Suraj. The PM also expressed sympathy for the boy and conveyed good wishes for a bright future. But his twelve-year-old sister Saloni, still awaits compensation. Saloni is hopeful and is waiting for PM’s letter. Although, assistance of Rs50,000 to Saloni has poured in from other organisations.

Both orphan siblings Suraj and Saloni are at a shelter home in Kota. “The sanctioned amount of Rs50,000 and the two insurance premiums by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are meant for Suraj Banjara only and the amount has been transferred to his bank account,” chairman Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Harish Gurubakshani said.

The Prime Minister’s letter makes no mention of name of sister Saloni. So, the sanctioned amount and insurance premium policies are meant only for Suraj, he said. It was Suraj who wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March this year and explained him their plight. “We are hopeful that the prime minister would also sanction compensation amount to Saloni and she would receive the same sort of sanction letter very soon from the PM,” the CWC Chairman said.

The Kota Stone Association, Kota Bhamashah Mandi and Phal Sabji Mandi association has donated Saloni Rs20,000, Rs25,000 and Rs5,000 respectively.

A total of 149 banned currency notes of rupees 500 and 22 Rs1000 notes totalling Rs96,500 were recovered from a box at the paternal home of the orphan siblings in Sarawada village of Kota district earlier this year after the deadline of the exchange of demonetised currency notes was over. After RBI refused to exchange old currency notes, in March Suraj wrote an open letter to PM Narendra Modi requesting him to arrange for exchange of old currency notes of their deceased mother’s lifelong savings.

The father of the siblings Raju Banjara, a resident of Sarawada village of the district had died earlier and their mother Pooja Banjara was murdered in 2013.

When the minor siblings were left destitute, CWC ordered them to be sent to children shelter home in Kota where they have been living since then. The minor siblings during the counseling by CWC members had revealed about their paternal home in Sarawada village and R.K. Puram area of Kota city. The police on the directions by CWC carried out a survey of the locked paternal home Sarawada village in presence of the children and CWC members and recovered the some jewelry and the old currency notes of worth Rs. 96500, Gurubaxani said.

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.