Hyderabad: Till a few years ago, a postcard was a popular form of informal communication. It was widely used across the country to convey news related to all kinds of events. It was only in emergencies that people used the telegram. It does appear that this informal mode of communication which has been there for 150 years is slowly slipping into oblivion. Technology is responsible for this, to a large extent. The state of Telangana does not have a single postcard in post offices anywhere, barring unused ones from the past. Even the celebrated repository of postal material, the General Post Office (GPO) doesn’t have any. This has been the case across the state of Telangana over the past six months.
Postal authorities failed to procure any postcards even after placing an indent for them. They are at a loss to explain the non-availability of postcards.
Postcards are printed in two places in the country—security printing presses in Hyderabad and Nasik. However, since the demand for postcards dropped steeply across the country, they were being printed at Nasik alone for some time.
It is believed that the Union government has taken a decision to phase out or stop the printing of postcards. However, when this question was asked in the Lok Sabha three years ago, the Centre responded saying that it would continue with the printing of postcards. In recent times, there has been no clarity on the matter.
The rationale behind the Centre’s decision is said to be the loss the government is put to when the costs of printing postcards and their sale price are factored.
BSNL brought the curtains down on the telegram on July 15, 2013. The underlying reason was accumulated losses of Rs. 400 crores per year. It appears that the legendary postcard, an intrinsic part of the day-to-day lives of millions of Indians, is going down the same road.