Sri Sukanta Bhattacharya, a Bengali poet, about 80 years ago felt the sordid affairs of grass root level postal fellows and wrote a beautiful poem under the title of ‘Runner’. The poem has focussed on the fearful, lonely and brave life of a runner. Few lines in English version are presented here.
The Runner is running long
So at night the bell is ringing “ding-dong”.
With the burden of news at hand
The Runner is crossing land after land.
He is moving on the nocturnal road
Following no restriction, no code.
The Runner is running from horizon to horizon
Taking the task of bringing new information”.
Undoubtedly postal persons across the world have been doing laudable works. When I was in Eritrea (North east Africa) for two years closely observed their arduous service particularly grass root level persons. To commemorate the role played by the postal departments across the world, World Post Day is observed every year on October 9. On the other hand, National Postal Day is celebrated in India on 10 October every year. For the benefit of readers, I wish to mention that World Post is used and in case of India, National Postal Day is mentioned. Here few facts are presented in the context of both the celebrations.
- World Post Day is celebrated on 9 October to commemorate, the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1874 in the Swiss Capital, Bern. It was declared World Post Day by the UPU Congress held in Tokyo, Japan in 1969. The proposal was submitted by Shri Anand Mohan Narula, a Member of the Indian delegation. Since then, World Post Day has been celebrated all over the world to highlight the importance of the postal services
- In India, the National Postal Day is celebrated (10 October), as an extension of World Post Day. The Day objects to commemorate the role played by the Indian Postal Department which was established in 1854 by Lord Dalhousie.
- It may be mentioned here that the first post office in India was established by the East India Company in 1774 in then Calcutta/Kolkata.
- The Indian Post Office Act was first passed in the year 1898.
- The highest post office in the world is at Hikkim in Himachal Pradesh located at an elevation of 4440 meters (14,567 feet above sea level).
- PIN (Pincode) stands for Postal Index Number. The 6-digit PIN system was introduced by Shriram Bhikaji Velankar, an Additional Secretary in the Union Ministry of Communications on 15 August 1972.
I extend my grateful thanks on occasion of National Postal Day of India as during COVID19 they have been extending excellent service. The postal service men many times visited my home to deliver letters, books etc., without bothering their own lives. I extend my salute to them on this auspicious occasion.
Following websites were consulted while writing the article: