YOUR TURN NOW

In photos: Please wait India, you are in queue!

Quartz india
Quartz india

It’s been nine days since prime minister Narendra Modi announced his polarising decision to do away with India’s old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes and most Indians have spent these days waiting in line.

Banks and ATMs were closed to the public for two days after Modi’s announcement on the night of Nov. 08. But as soon as they re-opened, millions of Indians queued up to exchange their now-worthless notes for the new Rs500 and Rs2,000 ones. However, the limited cash supply availableafter all, the demonetised notes constituted 86% of India’s currency by value—meant that long delays were inevitable.

So people of all ages have spent hours in lines, without any guarantee that their bank or ATM wouldn’t run dry by the time they got to the tellers or teller machines. The stress and exhaustion of spending so much time standing has already claimed the lives of 47 people.

From New Delhi to Hyderabad, Ahmedabad to Kolkata, here are some photos of what the country had to bear:

People stand in line as they wait to enter in a bank in Mumbai, India, November 10, 2016.
Locals outside a bank in Mumbai. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)
Indians stand over a bridge across River Sabarmati as they wait in a queue to deposit and exchange discontinued Indian currency notes at the Reserve Bank of india in Ahmadabad, India, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016.India announced a week ago that it was withdrawing 500 and 1,000 rupee notes as legal tender to fight corruption and tax evasion.
People waiting on a bridge across River Sabarmati in Ahmedabad, to withdraw and exchange currency. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
Women check their documents as they queue outside a bank to exchange and deposit their old high denomination banknotes in Gagwana village in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan, India, November 16, 2016.
Women check their documents as they queue outside a bank in Gagwana village in Rajasthan. (Reuters/Himanshu Sharma)
Indians stand in queues in front of ATM machines in Ahmadabad, India, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. India's highest-denomination currency notes are being withdrawn immediately from circulation, the country's prime minister said Tuesday night, a surprise announcement designed to fight corruption and target people who have stashed away immense amounts of cash. As of midnight Tuesday, 500- and 1,000-rupee notes, worth about $7.50 and $15, will have no cash value, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a televised address.
ATM machines in Ahmedabad. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
Indian people stand in queue outside a bank to exchange discontinued Indian rupee notes for newly issued 

notes in Bhopal, India, 10 November 2016. In a major decision, Indian Prime Minister, in an address to the nation has stated that currency 

notes with denomination values of INR 500 (about 7.5 US dollars) and INR 1000 (about 15 US dollars) respectively will be invalid and will be 

discontinued from midnight of 08 November 2016. Indian government also introduced the new notes of INR 500 (about 7.5 US dollars) and INR 2000 

(about 30 US dollars) and citizens would be allowed to exchange their old currency notes through the banks and post offices till 30 December 

2016. This is being considered as a major step towards curbing the problem of black money.
A policeman warns people outside an ATM in Bhopal. (EPA/Sanjeev Gupta)
epa05632112 An Indian man, holding old Indian rupee bills, gestures as he waits in queue along with others to change old notes outside Reserve Bank of India, in New Delhi, India, 15 November 2016. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the elimination of the 500 and 1,000 rupee bills ($7.37 and 14.73, respectively), hours before the measure took effect at midnight 08 November, for the purpose of fighting against 'black money' (hidden assets) and corruption in the country. The decision sparked some protests, while storekeepers complained about dwindling sales because many citizens lack the cash to buy the most basic products, as lines get longer at ATMs and banks.
A distraught man outside the Reserve Bank of India, New Delhi. (EPA/Rajat Gupta)
Indians stand in a queue to withdraw and deposit currency at an ATM in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. India announced a week ago that it was withdrawing 500 and 1,000 rupee notes as legal tender to fight corruption and tax evasion. However, people are allowed a onetime swap of 4,000 rupees ($59) at any bank in exchange for smaller notes to meet immediate needs.
A disabled person outside an ATM in Hyderabad, Telangana. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A)
People stand in queue to exchange Indian rupee notes at a national bank in Calcutta, eastern India, 10 November 2016. In a major decision, Indian Prime Minister, in an address to the nation has stated that currency notes with denomination values of INR 500 (about 7.5 US dollars) and INR 1000 (about 15 US dollars) respectively will be invalid and will be discontinued from midnight of 08 November 2016. Indian government also introduced the new notes of INR 500 (about 7.5 US dollars) and INR 2000 (about 30 dollars) and citizens would be allowed to exchange their old currency notes through the banks and post offices till 30 December 2016. This is being considered as a major step towards curbing the problem of black money.
Even the elderly have had no choice but to wait for long hours, as seen in this photograph from Kolkata . (EPA/Piyal Adhikary)
A 74 year-old man falls after standing for long hours in a queue to exchange or deposit his old high denomination banknotes outside a bank in Vejalpur village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India November 15, 2016.
A 74-year-old man collapses after standing for long hours outside a bank on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. (Reuters/Amit Dave)
People stand in queue to exchange Indian rupee notes at a bank in Jammu, the winter capital of Kashmir, India, 10 November 2016. In a major decision, Indian Prime Minister, in an address to the nation has stated that currency notes with denomination values of INR 500 (about 7.5 US dollars) and INR 1000 (about 15 US dollars) respectively will be invalid and will be discontinued from midnight of 08 November 2016. Indian government also introduced the new notes of INR 500 (about 7.5 US dollars) and INR 2000 (about 30 US dollars) and citizens would be allowed to exchange their old currency notes through the banks and post offices till 30 December 2016. This is being considered as a major step towards curbing the problem of black money.
The crowd inside a bank in Jammu. (EPA/Jaopal Singh)
Indian people stand in queue outside a bank to exchange discontinued Indian rupee notes for newly issued notes in Bhopal, India, 10 November 2016. In a major decision, Indian Prime Minister, in an address to the nation has stated that currency notes with denomination values of INR 500 (about 7.5 US dollars) and INR 1000 (about 15 US dollars) respectively will be invalid and will be discontinued from midnight of 08 November 2016. Indian government also introduced the new notes of INR 500 (about 7.5 US dollars) and INR 2000 (about 30 US dollars) and citizens would be allowed to exchange their old currency notes through the banks and post offices till 30 December 2016. This is being considered as a major step towards curbing the problem of black money. EPA/SANJEEV GUPTA
Under the hot Bhopal sun. (EPA/Sanjeev Gupta)
People try to adjust in a queue outside a bank to exchange and deposit their old high denomination banknotes in Allahabad, India, November 15, 2016.
Jostling outside a bank in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. (Reuters/Jitendra Prakash)
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