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Connecting letter and spirit

india Updated: Sep 22, 2006 00:11 IST
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THEY MAKE a living out of connecting people. But, unlike the multi-million, multinational corporations, their job is to write letters for the illiterate and get them posted to their clients’ homes.

You would find on any working day at the General Post office a 65-year-old GN Trivedi, who has been writing letters for people in Hindi, English and Urdu for past 36 years. Rashid (38) who has been doing so in Hindi and Urdu for 15 years.

Armed with postal stationery, they entertain customers, for a mere Rs 2 to Rs 5 per letter. A missive to be shot to a government department, however, could cost Rs 10 to Rs 20. “Our customer tells us what he/she wants to convey. We put it on paper in legible letters and language. That is easy to understand.

Sometimes, their message is so emotional; it compels me to do it for free, for the sake of humanity,” says Raashid.

Interestingly, Raashid is not too forthcoming about his educational qualification. “I am not educated. But I know Hindi and Urdu and can write letters in both the languages.” On the other hand, GN Trivedi is educated—other members of the letter-writers’ fraternity say so—but he refuses to specify his qualification.

Besides writing letters, they also sell envelopes, glue, pens, A4 sheets etc.

Raashid also packs parcels. Their earnings range between Rs 50 to Rs 150 per day. They would also packs your parcels immaculately and put the address on them for you. The cost of packing depends on the size of the parcel and could be anywhere between Rs 20 and Rs 50 a piece.