Devotees may soon receive water from the river Ganga by post, a minister said on Monday, as India moves to tap booming e-commerce platforms.
Many Hindus believe the water from river Ganga has the power to wash away their sins and religious ceremonies are considered incomplete without a generous sprinkling of the holy water.
Communication and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said he had been inundated with requests for Ganga water to be made available through post.
“I have directed (the postal department) to utilise e-commerce platforms and make arrangement for providing pure Gangajal (Ganges water) from Haridwar, Rishikesh to people,” Prasad was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency.
“They have assured that they will take pro-active step to address cultural needs.
“If a postman can deliver, mobile phones, sarees, jewellery, apparels, then why not Ganga water?”
Around 80% of India’s 1.2 billion population is Hindu but the country is also home to large numbers of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists.
India Post, the state-run postal network, has in the past two years, tied up with some 400 e-commerce companies, including Amazon and Indian giant Flipkart to deliver a diverse range of goods.
The tie-ups have reaped rich results, with parcel deliveries increasing 15-fold to 75,000 daily deliveries since 2014.
Prasad also said that by the end of the year all postmen in urban centres would be given smart phones while those in rural post offices would be equipped with hand-held devices by March next year.