Rashmi Rekha Das

Gone are the days when postmen used to be the most ‘awaited’ persons in several homes. Stuffing letters, greeting cards and other parcels in their tiny sack bags, they used to pedal their bicycles for kilometres braving rain and scorching heat to distribute letters. In rural pockets, they were the only link to the outside world.

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that now-a-days people have lost the beauty of writing letters on pieces of paper in this digital age. 

However, it would be wrong to opine that many postmen started facing an ‘existential crisis’ even as handwritten letters and greeting cards gave way to e-mail and e-cards and mobile phones and faxes became the major tools of communication.

Though exchange of personal letters has decreased in this digital age, number of ordinary posts, speed posts and registry post is on rise. As World Post Day October 9, OTV presents ground report.

It’s true that there is no more exchange of personal letters through inland letters, but the department distributes 12.5 lakh letters a day in Odisha which include 2.5 lakh speed posts and registry posts and remaining ordinary posts.

Basudev Panda works as peon at Nilagiri Padagaon. He said, “Despite exchange of letters through social media, the postal department has not lost its sheen. WhatsApp and e-mails just cannot replace the beauty of penning a letter and sending it to your loved ones. Not a single day is left when I don’t pedal my cycle to different villages.”

In this technologically advanced age, people have to depend on postal service to get benefits of Sukanya Yojana, Aadhar Cards or Passports. Even it provides banking service to people.

“Currently, Odisha has 24,000 postmen working in 8,490 post offices. Also, 272 new post offices have been opened at Moist-affected areas.  Besides, the department is planning to open 460 new post offices in villages so that people can have access to post offices in every five kilo metres”, said senior Superintendent, Bhubaneswar Postal Division, Suchismita Swain.