Snail mail doesn’t give all those thrills as a quick email does. However, when more and more people are choosing to slow down, probably even stop to smell the (proverbial) roses, the days of the snail mails are a sweet reminder of the days gone by. Maybe it’s time to start bringing vintage back into our lives.
Did you know: The purpose of World Post Day is to create awareness of the role of the postal sector in our everyday lives and its important contribution in the socio-economic development of several countries. October 9 was declared World Post Day by the UPU (Universal Postal Union) Congress held in Tokyo, Japan in 1969 and has since been celebrated worldwide on this date. Many countries also use this day to introduce or promote new postal products and services.
Here are interesting things to know about the India Post:
1.India was one of the earliest members to become a part of the UPU, a United Nations’ agency, headquartered in Bern, Switzerland.
2.The government recently decided to digitise 1.5 lakh post offices, spread countrywide, which includes 1.3 lakh post offices situated in rural areas.
3.The postal service has 38 heritage buildings having architectural value, including the GPO in Kolkata and Mumbai respectively.
4.The approximate outstanding balance under all the post office savings schemes is over Rs 6 crore. The approximate number of account holders is 33.03 crore.
5.India Post enables instant international money transfer to customers in India sent from 195 countries on a real-time basis. This service is operated in association with Western Union and MoneyGram across locations.
6.Postal stamps and other philatelic products are available on a few e-commerce sites as well as on e-post office, an e-commerce portal of India Post. The department earned about Rs 40 crore in 2015-16 by selling postal stamps and stamp-related products.
7.The postal department has installed GPS devices in the mail vans to ensure safe and timely delivery of goods.
8.In early September this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also launched the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). IPPB offers three types of savings accounts, namely regular, digital and basic. This will be a zero balance savings account providing an interest rate of 4% per annum.
Some bizarre facts about the postal service around the world:
There is a facility that deals with illegible handwriting: In the United States, The Remote Encoding Center in Salt Lake City, Utah receives the most impossible-to-read mail. The center’s workers are known to be able to translate a scribbled envelope into legible, usable information in about four seconds.
Mules are employed to deliver mail: Imagine being somewhere in the Grand Canyon and yet receiving mails? That’s because ‘mule trains’ are at work to ensure you don’t miss your mails. The local Havasupai tribe receives its mail, food supplies, furniture etc. after an 8-mile journey covered by 50 horses and mules. It’s also interesting to note that the post office where this route originates is located in Peach Tree, Arizona which has walk-in freezers to protect perishable items.
Stamp cave: SubTropolis, an excavated limestone mine in Kansas City, 150 feet underground, is an ideal hub for stamp storage and distribution.
Remember how Dorothy told Toto she felt they weren’t in Kansas anymore? She could have been visiting SubTropolis in an alternate universe!
Mail in the pail: The J.W. Westcott, a 45-foot mail boat has a contract to deliver mail to ships sailing on the Detroit River or passing through. The custom, called mail in the pail got its name because this postal service has to deliver mail to all Americans, even those aboard ships. The J.W. Westcott pulls alongside larger vessels which receive their correspondence by lowering down a bucket on a rope. The boat has a special ZIP code assigned to it too: 48222, the only floating ZIP code in the United States.
Master of Posts: King Henry VII established a position called Master of the Posts. This has since evolved into the office of the Postmaster General.
First Postmaster General: Benjamin Franklin served as Postmaster General until November 7, 1776. United States of America’s present Postal Service (USPS) descends from the process laid down by Franklin.
The Last Telegram. Stop: The Telegram service in the UK was abolished in 1977 while India sent its last telegram in 2013, after using this once revolutionary technology for 163 years. The first telegram was sent from Calcutta to Diamond Harbour in the year 1850.
Highest Post Office: With 1.5 lakh plus post offices and 5.6 lakh plus employees, India has the largest postal network in the world. The world’s highest post office too, is located in Hikkim at Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh at 15,500 feet.
First Published: Oct 09, 2018 13:52 IST