Friday, April 21, 2017

Postal department's initiatives revive art of letter writing

The postal department has launched an initiative to revive the art of letter writing. Travelling Letter Box (TLB), an initiative of the department of posts, promises to deliver the letter the same day for short distances. All one has to do is to drop the letter in a box in one of the five short-haul trains. 

Charles Lobo, chief postmaster general, Karnataka Circle, on Tuesday said the department started the TLB concept on February 13. It is available in Madras Mail, Rani Chennamma Express, Netravathi Express, Hubballi-Vijaywada and Bengaluru-Coimbatore trains. "This has become popular and every day at least 200 letters are carried on every train. This service is limited to those trains which carried mails before too," Lobo said. 

On the selection of these particular trains, Lobo said, "Earlier, these trains used to carry mails in sacks. The mails were sorted at the stations before being dispatched to individuals. As people know their destination, one can drop the letter in the TLB in the train to ensure quick delivery." 

To tap the young generation in an era of digitisation, the department is popularising Post Cross, an online pen pal club. 

"It started 10 years ago. We are aggressively promoting it now. One can register on the post crossing website, become pen friends with others across the globe and send picture postcards. There are 6.7 lakh members globally, of which over 1,000 are from Bengaluru alone," Lobo said. Earlier, Lobo released three special postal covers on the occasion of World Heritage Day. The covers include Keerthinarayana temple in Talakad, Hoysaleshwara temple in Halebeedu and Chennakeshava temple in Belur. S Rajendra Kumar, postmaster general, South Karnataka region and Arun Raj T, superintending archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Bengaluru Circle, were present. 

Raj said the postal department and ASI were tying up to promote archaeology. Lobo said during the period of Mysuru Anche, postmen also worked for the intelligence machinery. 

"As they travel long distances and visit remote villages, postmen would bring information from everywhere. But this stopped over the years. Even now, they can help in collecting information and preserving heritage sites," he said.

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