Interesting Facts About Indian Postal System

A Memory Down The Lane

The World Postal Day takes place each year on the 9th of October to commemorate the date for the establishment of Universal Postal Union in 1874 at Bern in Switzerland. Though with the internet revolution the significance of sending letters has declined gradually yet back in 1874 it was a major communication and technological breakthrough when people finally could pour their heart out on a piece of papers and send their message across without having to travel thousands of miles to do the same. Seems incredible, right?

October 9th was first declared World Postal Day at the Universal Postal Union Congress in 1969 in Tokyo, Japan. Since then it has been celebrated all over the world every year to mark the beginning of a communication revolution that was a step towards breaking boundaries and shattering barriers.

Postal day in India

We Indians celebrate the National Postal Day on the 10th of October every year. This day is celebrated as an extension of the World Postal Day, the history of which has already been mentioned above.

We don’t need to stress how important are the postal services for India. The Indian Post Office was established in 1837 but it was not until 1852 when Asia’s first adhesive stamp came into picture. It was called the Scinde Dawk and was introduced by Sir Bartle Frere, the British East India Company’s administrator of the province of Sind.

Before the establishment of a robust postal system, runners carried messages for centuries. This was a practice prevalent not only in India but also in other countries around the world. A runner ran from one village or relay post to the next, carrying the letters on a pole with a sharp point. His was a dangerous occupation: the relay of postal runners worked throughout the day and night, vulnerable to attacks by bandits and wild animals. Then the runners evolved into messengers on horses. But with the construction of an efficient road system, it was important that the postal system should also get a makeover. Hence the modern post offices were built and it became easier and more efficient to send messages across.

Importance of Postal system

With the advent of internet, the importance of letters has declined in urban areas but it still remains the chief mode of communication in rural and semi- urban India. In fact in areas where there is no internet connectivity and you are dying to write to your loved ones, these letters come to your rescue. Imagine a soldier posted in a village close to the border remembering his mother and shaping his sentiments into words on a piece of paper. Yes, this is how important our postal system is. When all means of communication fail, this is the one you can always rely on.

In fact it would be interesting to note that this same postal system played a very important part during the Indian Independence movement. All the communication related to assembling for protests to holding meetings were done through letters. The postal system helped a lot in bringing India closer, hence organizing large scale national protests became easier.

The Indian Postal system is the way most of the country communicates chiefly, and no matter how tech-savvy we might have become in this digital age, this age old system of communication will never lose its sheen.

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