Is candy a form of Indian currency?

It started with a few shopkeepers giving customers change in the form of boiled sweets or toffees; but now it seems to have developed into a form of payment! At most toll roads. Toll collectors don’t even bother to give change, but hand over the receipt for the toll, with some cellophane-wrapped candy. They actually act affronted when one tells them that one will not accept this as change, and grudgingly part with the change in coins, which,obviously, they had all along. 

Every “toffee” or candy may represent one rupee, but the customer is being shortchanged, because these sweets have been obtained at less than Rs.1 each.  Over a period of hours, days, months…one can only speculate about the extra cash being pulled in at all these points. 

it’s bad enough when shopkeepers do it…but to have toll operators doing it brazenly is extremely irritation. Are we, as customers and road-users, to take this lightly? One might think, “it’s just a few rupees” and pocket the “change” or pass it on to the children in the back seat…but a “few rupees” is not what it is. It’s definitely hundreds of rupees, each day.

Is there a forum where we can protest, and put an end to this pernicious practice of subtle cheating the public?

Deepa Mohan
About Deepa Mohan 715 Articles

Deepa Mohan is a freelance writer and avid naturalist.

2 Comments

  1. The bigger shocks is with BMTC…there are tickets for example Rs. 19/- denomination and the conductor does not feel it necessary at least communicate to the commuter about the obligation of the pending change from his end. I am sure good amount of these does go into ones coffers.
    Railways are bigger shockers…at the reservation counter I have seen people are being asked to get change to get their tickets issued…the hapless passengers are to go for the change hunting.
    The question is if the problem is so very obvious then why not make the necessary arrangements, if the Govt owned organisations cannot support the cause then private parties are least to be approached for redress.

  2. I usually refuse the candy as I do not eat it. At times when I did take the candy in lieu of change I used it back at the shops as money. I have also used candy at shops when asked for Rs 1 or Rs 2 change. Try it and capture the look on the shopkeeper’s face!

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