Innovation, Integration, and Inclusion
Not long ago, many used to wait for the arrival of Post, in anticipation of communication form the near and dear ones. The job aspirants anxious wait for that call from the prospective employer about the confirmation of the assignment. Elderly parents wait for that “money order” to come from the near ones who have travelled long distances in search of employment. Birthdays, New year and other special occasions, people use to spend time in selecting cards with impactful messages to convey the greetings and share happiness. It is the arrival of the Post that used to make their day. With time everything is going digital. By a click of a button, messages are getting delivered anywhere across the globe in a second. The way we communicate has gone through a sea change. A vast country like India, Post connects every nook and corner of this country, with almost every cluster of small villages has a provision to receive letters, money, and parcels. Such an efficient network and dedicated workforce. Post connect people beyond their immediate geographies.
Celebrating “World Post Day” is more relevant than any time before, as the new generation may not even know what it means to carry the message and deliver. The story must be told lest it is forgotten. Can the world live without it?
World Post Day is celebrated every year on October 9 to mark the anniversary of the creation of Universal Postal Union on the same day in 1874. The event was declared by the Universal Postal Congress in Tokyo in 1969. The purpose of World Post Day is to bring awareness about the role Post plays in the everyday lives of people, businesses and contribution to global social and economic development and create a better attitude about Postal services. The US’s postal service dates to Benjamin Franklin as the first postmaster general in 1775. The credit of introducing the world’s first postage stamp is attributed to Englishman Sir Rowland Hill.
Many people cannot travel long distances to handover essential and necessary things. They do so with the help of the Postal Services to reach it to the near and dear ones. Sending a letter is one of the most iconic acts of showing someone you care. Various civilisations utilised a courier service to pass letters, messages, news, and parcels across empires spanning thousands of miles, inspiring the modern idea of the mailman.
The Universal Postal Union was established as a means of cooperation and regulation amongst its member states’ mail services. Initially, it was called “The General Post Union”. Incidentally, it is the second oldest international organisation worldwide. Each year, the UPU’s 192 member countries celebrate World Post Day to mark the importance of universal mail and the UPU’s contributions to society and the global economy.
Universal Postal Union plays an advisory, mediating and liaison role, and provides technical assistance where needed. It sets the rules for international mail exchanges. It makes recommendations to stimulate growth in mail, parcel and financial services volumes and improve quality of service for customers.
“The Post Office” in India, it is the most widely distributed postal system in the world. Warren Hastings had taken the initiative under East India Company to start the Postal Service in India in 1688. It was initially established under the name “Company Mail” and later modified into service under the “crown” in 1854 by Lord Dalhousie. India hosts a week-long celebration each year over the week of October 9.
With changing times like many other things, Posts must innovate to remain relevant in the changing communication landscape. Indian Government finding innovative ways of utilising this sizeable nationwide network, for the last mile connectivity, by opening post office banks and connecting to other government services.
COVID has not left anything unaffected, including Post. But Postal services are uninterrupted and reaching out to many providing essential supplies. It is virtual platforms being used for celebrating World Post Day. Thanks to COVID it is for the first time and hopefully it would remain only onetime affair.