What Post Offices can do?
Over the 150 years of his existence, India Post has built the largest postal network in the world with over 1.55 lakh post offices of which 90% are in the rural areas. The traditional role of Post office as message- delivery organization is gradually becoming redundant in the age of instant connectivity thanks to high speed Internet and competitively priced private courier service. However, apart from postal services, Post Office has been a major outlet for small savings, postal life insurance, money transfers, sale of mutual funds, foreign exchange and even payment of pension and wages under the MGNREGA scheme. Along with delivering post, goods and money and small banking it is slowly but steadily moving towards establishing itself as the provider of other financial and utility services. In fact, India Post is already one of the largest providers of financial services with a deposit base of over Rs 5.53 lakh crore of around 2 crore investors.
It is a prudent step. Consider this. As per 2009-10 figures, India Post earns 45 per cent of its income from commission and interest of savings bank and 30 per cent from speedpost, parcels and logistics. Only 15 per cent of its income comes from ordinary post and postage stamps.
However, India Post should never abrogate its original responsibility as the connect-point between people, wherever they are in the country.
I am amazed, perturbed and a little enraged to know that a criminal case under the Indecent Representation of Women Act has been filed against Malayalam magazine ‘Grihalakshmi’ for publishing the picture of a breastfeeding woman in the cover page of its latest edition.
I fail to understand how feeding a baby could be lascivious or prurient ?
In fact governments all over the world from Asia to Africa to Europe are trying to promote breast feeding. In fact in India a postage stamp promoting breast feeding has been issued as early as in 1980.
A recent report in Times of India indicates that India has to still go a long way in ensuring that all the babies are breast fed. Presently only 40 per cent babies are exclusively breast fed for six months.
Moreover the magazine in this particular issue was trying to deshame breast feeding- a very welcome step.
Courts must proactively dissuade people from filing such frivolous cases.
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements – from the political to the social – while calling for gender equality.
It has been observed since the early 1900s and is now recognised each year on March 8.
On this day the social media was deluded with Happy Women’s Day messages and photos. I found one message particularly interesting. It reads: To the guys who have women’s fake id and fake photo on social media- Happy Women’s Day.
Photo: Ashok Panda
The way statues are being broken across the country, somebody remarked: Keep walking. If you stand still at some place, somebody might mistake you to be a statue and try to break your head.
(Courtesy: Social Media)
The author is a journalist turned media academician. He lives in Central Odisha town Dhenkanal. He also writes fiction. English translation of his Odia novel Yamraj Number 5003 is being published shortly. [email protected]