The telephone and computer may have killed the handwritten letter, but they haven't diminished the workload of the postal department.
In fact, new data show that the number of postal deliveries handled by India Post in Maharashtra and Goa went up nearly fourfold in two years, from 13.92 lakh in 2007-08 to 54.25 lakh in 2009-10.
The nature of the deliveries, however, has changed, with the bulk of the snail mail being commercial rather than personal and most of the deliveries comprising cellphone bills, bank and credit card statements and updates from companies to shareholders, rather than letters or postcards.
The postal department, meanwhile, has also evolved to find new roles in the evolving communications scenario.
From offering life insurance schemes to accepting applications for the national unique identification programme, postal workers are now more than just carriers of missives.
At an event held on Thursday as part of the Department of Post's annual postal week, for instance, a host of different kinds of employees was felicitated, for the first time ever. These included postmen and postwomen as well as those who help with UID enrollments, book railway tickets and plant trees on behalf of India Post customers.
New offerings within the snail mail segment, such as the tracking of speed post deliveries, have also help boost the department's numbers.