In Focus

The Daman Dash

Gajanan Khergamker | Daman

Daman’s most unassuming, unsung heroes, at the call of India's Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi for demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8th 2016, hurtled in a race against time to meet the December 31st 2016 target laid down by the government to clean the system.

Almost all of Daman's common, shop-keepers, fruit-sellers, modest middle-class families even school-going children rose to the occasion. Interestingly, even as the illiterate struggled despite their best of intentions, to figure out the way ahead in the cashless scenario, it were the school-teachers armed with Generation Next who rose to the occasion.

Thousands of children bolstered with a basic training on e-transfers and cashless transacting, went door to door across Daman training the poor trader, the illiterate feriwala, the uneducated chaiwala, the technologically-challenged elderly and the uninitiated in middle-class families to make the transition from a Cash-Dependent to a Cashless India.

In Daman, the Tandels, Mavs, Parikhs, Shabbirs and D’Cruzs, across communal lines, have shed their personal bias, even religious differences, in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for demonetisation. Led by its young, Daman has dealt the first blow to black money, notched legendary success in its Dash ahead and stood tall to show the rest of India the way ahead.

‘Minor’ feet, ‘Major’ feat!
Manu Shrivastava | Daman

The old adage ‘Children are like wet clay and whatever falls on them leaves an impression’ may not apply to the handful of school children in the small Indian Union Territory of Daman. For, it is this lot of children that brought Daman on the national and international radars, impressing upon the nation and the world that children may be impressionable but they certainly can leave a mark!

Students of Standards 10th, 11th and 12th donning T-shirts and Caps provided by the administration had answered Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for demonetisation. And, to make the drive a success they had accepted the challenge to make Daman cashless…and the first in all of India to do so.

A month later, after the call for demonetisation was made, the media across India and beyond borders wrote reams about how Daman became India’s first cashless region and showed the way to the rest of the nation. Today, after December 19th 2016 when the government announced that Daman had become cent per cent cashless, the mornings in Daman changed.

Even as the entire nation debated and cribbed about government’s decision to opt for demonetisation; about how the Opposition was kept in the dark and about how the ‘poor were hit the worst’, the young of Daman had made the seemingly-impossible feat happen and changed their own destiny. Today Daman, owing to its children, stands tall.