Postcards available again at post offices in Pune

Prajakta Joshi
Saturday, 9 November 2019

“For several weeks, we could not find postcards at any of the post offices. We needed them for an activity that we had planned to do with children, but we could not take it ahead due to lack of postcards,” said Sushant Sonone

PUNE: After a long wait of several months, postcards are now finally available at Pune’s post offices. However, whether or not their supply will be consistent is still unclear.

While postcards have been used by people for ages to send messages and convey news about their lives, for around six months, most post offices in the city did not have postcards. Assistant Post Master General Pune RG Gaikwad said that the scarcity was due to overuse of postcards by schools and colleges.

“For several weeks, we could not find postcards at any of the post offices. We needed them for an activity that we had planned to do with children, but we could not take it ahead due to lack of postcards,” said Sushant Sonone of Action for Rights of Children (ARC).

A staffer at Tilak Road Post Office told Sakal Times, “The demand for postcards has considerably reduced these days. However, we could not provide them for customers due to inadequate supply from the Head Office itself.” Passing the buck on to the school children, Gaikwad had said postcards were being used these days by school children for assignments and other activities, which led to their shortage at post offices.

“Several schools have activities where children were made to write letters to the Prime Minister or Chief Minister and so on. Due to this, the demand for postcards surged suddenly, leading to their shortage at the post offices,” Gaikwad said.

Speaking to Sakal Times on an earlier occasion, Pradeep Lokhande, also known as the ‘Postcard Man of India’ had said, “One of the times when postcards get used extensively was before elections. Politicians and their teams often target voters by sending them postcards, especially in rural and remote areas. This might be a reason why there was a shortage of postcards in the city this year.”

However, he said that the situation has been resolved now, and the postcards are available to the post offices.

“There was a protest at the General Post Office (GPO) today for the same reason. We also gave postcards to them. Post offices too have been supplied with their stock. We have made a request to the India Security Press at Nashik, where the postcards are printed, to ensure that we get regular supply,” Gaikwad added.

LACK OF SUPPLY?
While Gaikwad has pinned the reason behind the shortage of postcards on their overuse, it is a known fact that with advancement in communication technology, the use of postcards has reduced. The shortage in these circumstances puts a question mark on whether there is lack of supply and production of postcards.

In a passing reference, Gaikwad added that with the Lok Sabha as well as State elections, there was a delay in tendering the production. He refused to state that it was the reason behind the delay.

MEMORIES OF PULA
In times when advanced means of communication like smartphones and social media did not exist, postcards had a great literary significance. Recently, on the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of writer and humorist PL Deshpande, several fans of the great artist  shared their memories of writing to, as well as receiving letters from Deshpande on postcards. The revival of the postcards on his birth anniversary is a great coincidence for the enthusiastic fans.

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