Monday, 18 September 2017
The Indian postal system is no longer a mere disburser of mails, says Post Master General M U Abdali
The postman is Bharat Sarkar’s sole representative in the Indian village… One doesn’t have to necessarily go stand on the border to serve one’s nation. Doing your work properly, with blind devotion, is your contribution to the country.”
In a packed community hall on a humid Saturday afternoon in Mirzapur, Post Master General M U Abdali emphasises the importance of their jobs to over 300 Gramin Dak Sevaks, gathered from all 20 blocks of Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts. The first such “mega mela” in over 20 years in east Uttar Pradesh, it has been called to, among other things, “boost the morale” of the dak sevaks.
Abdali is pleased at the turnout, amidst an ongoing strike by postal staff in the state for higher wages.
With over six lakh staff, India Post is the second largest employer in the country after the Indian Railways, with its network largest in Uttar Pradesh. Over 90 per cent of the postal operations are now dedicated to villages. But wherever a mail is headed, the mammoth system hinges on a single employee — the postman. A letter travelling hundreds of miles completes the last leg of its journey in the postman’s bag, to be delivered to the addressee.
In July, this chain of delivery came undone when a postman in Mumbai’s Kurla was found to have deliberately stopped delivering mail for two years, reportedly because he could not cope with the workload. S T Ballal had been delivering letters for 27 years, and was six years away from retirement. The area he covered in the densely populated city should have 43 postmen on paper; it only has 22. The undelivered mail by Ballal, now suspended, ran up to nearly 14,000.
In the 180-year-old history of the Indian postal system, there have been such instances before, says Abdali — of postmen “slowing down”.
Source : http://indianexpress.com