In an era in which India is under the spell of 3G, 4G and now in coming days, internet to sprint with the speed of 5G, along with awareness and advancement of smartphones and messaging apps in the country, the ways of communications has seen a drastic change, especially over the last decade. But while we think that smartphones and the Internet may have replaced long-standing ways of communications, gmail, Facebook, Twitter to WhatsApp and more have posed a massive challenge, surprisingly, inland letters and postcards continue to sell well in post offices across India. As per the reports by Indian Express, after getting a reply under the Right to Information Act, showed that about 4.80 crore inland letters were sold at 159 post offices across the country in the year 2015. While of course, it’s a drop, but not a significant one, as in 2010s nearly 6.64 crore inland letters were sold. Meghdoot postcards also posted impressive sales. The sale of the postcards that come with a space dedicated to the advertisement was around 26 lakh in 2010 and 21 lakh in 2015.
The demand for these postcards and inland letters are higher in smaller villages and towns. According to the data by the Indian Express, Irinjalakuda in Kerala, recorded the highest number with 5.45 lakh of inland letters being sold in 2015. While, Delhi recorded 57,500 inland letters being sold, Mumbai 1.27 lakh, Kanpur 6,970 and Jaipur 2,220. The same year, Pune post-offices saw the sale of 4,34,750 inland letters, 5,39,300 postcards and 280 Meghdoot postcards.
Not only this, surprisingly the sale of inland letters has even risen in some parts of the country. The most significant rise recorded was in Muzaffarnagar in UP where 69,880 inland letters were sold in 2015 from 12,760 in 2010. Although there were only handful of post-offices where the annual sale was recorded as low as in single digit. In 2015, two inland letters were sold in Nagpur, 50 in Baramullah, and 69 in Nizamabad.
Ganesh Sawaleshwarkar, Postmaster General of Pune Region expressed his view on this and said that people keep using postcards and inland letters as they are the cheapest ways of communication and that everyone can afford it. “Although 50 paise coins have been demonetised, postcards continue to sell for that. Another reason for their consistent sale is that postage rates are not revised very frequently,” Sawaleshwarkar was quoted by Indian Express as saying.