Nagpur: Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetization of the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes, Paytm and other mobile wallets are enjoying tremendous growth and use among citizens. The lack of cash in hand has favoured digital wallets a necessity for the common man. One of the biggest online payments platforms in the country Paytm is said to be lakhs of users.
One can use Paytm for making any payments. This is because shopkeepers found it hard to return loose change in Rs 100 notes whenever the customer gives Rs 2000 note. With Paytm offering admirable services to shopkeepers, they have started making boards with the unique QR Code (a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone) and facilitating customers to make the payment for their purchases through Paytm.
This has proved beneficial for the shopkeeper since he does not have to bother about returning loose change, similarly the customers need not carry loose change for making small payments. Customers can make payments for almost everything right from eateries, groceries, medicinal, general.
Recently during the Winter Session of Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had purchased some oranges through Paytm from his mobile. Well now the service industry too is offering services with payments made through Paytm.
In what could be termed as first and unique, the Commercial Sex Workers offering services at Nagpur’s Redlight area Ganga Jamuna have started offering Commercial Sex services in exchange of payments made through Paytm.
While speaking to Nagpur Today, Hemlata Lohave who has been working in Nagpur’s Red-Light area Ganga Jamuna area for the rights of the Commercial Sex Workers, their health issues etc, said that this is definitely a novel way to get payments for services. From the time the notes of the denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 ceased to be legal tenders, the number of customers visiting the red-light area have dwindled to negligible numbers. A time had come when all their savings have dwindled and if the condition continues, they would have to starve to death.
Some of the Commercial Sex Workers while speaking to Nagpur Today said that as many as 40-50 of the Commercial Sex Workers offering services in Ganga Jamuna area have already downloaded and installed the Paytm app on their mobile phones. They have learnt the operations from their fellow Commercial Sex Workers.
Two CSWs identified as Rakhi* and Sawari* (names changed to protect their identity) said that just as one has to adopt with the change in laws and rules of the nation, we have also adapted to the changing times and have adopted the newer mode of payments for the services. They opined that this will also prevent the customers from getting their cash looted by unscrupulous elements who dwell in this disrepute lanes (Badnaam Gali) of Ganga Jamuna area.
By Samuel Gunasekharan and Ravikant Kamble