New Delhi: With myriad options for communications available in this digitized world, the usage of post offices has certainly decreased. However, letters invoke charm and nostalgia like no other. To remember the contribution of letters and posts in our lives, World Post Day is observed every year on October 9.
The day marks the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which was set up in 1874 in Switzerland. More than 150 countries celebrate the day.
According to the United Nations, the purpose of World Post Day is to raise awareness of the postal sector in everyday lives of both people and businesses and its contribution to development of countries – both social and economical.
Here are some amazing facts on the Indian postal services:
1. The first post office in India was started by the British East Indian Company in 1764.
2.Independent India’s first postal stamp was issued on 21 November 1947 with the picture of the National Flag of India.
3.Mahatma Gandhi was the first person whose picture was depicted on free India’s stamp (1948).
4.The highest post office in the world is in Hikkim, in Spiti and Lahaul District of Himachal Pradesh situated at a height of 15,500 ft (4,700 m).
5.India was the first country in the Commonwealth to issue airmail stamps.
6.The world’s first official airmail flight took place in India on February 18, 1911.
7.The Postal Index Number (PIN code) is a six-digit, Unique code of post-office numbering introduced on 15 August, 1972 by Shriram Bhikaji Velankar.
8.India has the largest postal network in the world with 1,54,939 post offices as on March 31, 2015, of which 1,39,222 (89.86%) are in the rural areas. At the time of independence there were 23,344 post offices.
9.Due to the increase of digital services, Indian Post had terminated two important services – Telegram (in 2013) and Money order (in 2015).
10.You can buy rare collections of postal stamps offered by India Post on e-commerce websites like Snapdeal and Shopclues.