Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to curb terror and black money, on Thursday, the family of a 35year-old dengue patient paid back Rs 40,000 private hospital bill in coins.
According to a Times of India report, on Wednesday, BP Poddar Hospital and Research Centre in Kolkata told Sukanta Chhaule's relatives to arrange Rs 40,000 for his discharge the next day. It set off panic at the Chhaules' home as they neither had cards nor enough cash in denominations other than Rs 500 and Rs 1000. They pleaded with the hospital to accept the old notes, but were refused.
Their offer of a cheque was also turned down. The Chhaules then sent messages over WhatsApp groups to friends, relatives and neighbours for loose change, a TOI report added.
The response was overwhelming. They were flooded with coins. By 3 am, they had collected the bill amount of Rs 40,000.On Thursday morning, they wrapped the coins in cellophane packets and bundled these inside a big jute bag and arrived at the hospital gate.
The stunned hospital authorities initially refused to accept the coins and asked for a demand draft. They relented when the family threatened to lodge a police complaint. Now, it was the hospital's turn to count the coins. It took six staff members three hours to do the job. Sukanta was released at 3 pm, TOI report stated.
Snehashish, the patient's brother, said: "We had pleaded with the hospital authorities to accept the old notes or a cheque. But they refused. So we thought about collecting the coins, which, we knew would be difficult but not impossible."