An ode to Indian postal system
RANA SIDDIQUI ZAMAN
Trailing the journey of the Indian postal system from 1668 till 2007, Arvind Kumar Singh’s book“Bharatiya Dak: Sadiyon Ka Safarnama” has been chosen by the Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development for the Shiksha Puraskar or the Education Award for the year 2009. The award was launched by the Government of India in 1992 for encouraging original writings in Hindi in the field of education.
Published by National Book Trust, the book has already been translated into three languages -- English, Hindi and Assamese -- and is going to be translated in seven to 12 more languages.
“This book has been a best-seller on the subject and that the new editions will have a new look,” said an NBT representative.
One of its chapters titled “ Chittiyon KI Anokhi Duniya – the unique world of letters” has also been included in the NCERT book of Class VIII which runs into seven pages.
Titled the “Moving encyclopaedia of Indian Post” in English, the book has 43 chapters and explains in detail the postal systems during the times of kings and nobility, modern and rural postal systems, postmen’s lives and the hardships they face, postcard, letterbox, earlier postal services through pigeons to dak-bunglows to horses and elephants and from male runners to rail, air etc.
It notes that that stalwarts in their own fields like Noble Laureate C.V. Raman, authors Munshi Prem Chand, Rajinder Singh Bedi, Nirad C. Chaudhary and Mahashewta Devi, actor Dev Anand and celebrated Dogri writers Shivnath and Krishna Bihari ‘Noor’ were once postal department employees.
Arvind Singh’s book has been written for the layman and is about the post Independence status of the postal services. It covers the challenges met by the carriers of postal services and its heroic survival despite the onslaught of technology via mobile, internet and private couriers.