Don’t be surprised if you see British citizens queuing up in post offices in India to post Christmas cards to friends and family in Britain. Many Britons have found that the Indian postal system is cheaper and more reliable than Royal Mail.
<b1>There have been several instances when Britons travelling to India for other purposes at this time of the year have used their trips to carry their Christmas cards along and post them in India instead of in Britain.
Amidst a welter of complaints about Royal Mail losing millions of Christmas cards and parcels, several Britons have discovered that the doughty Indian postal system - set up during the colonial era - is a more reliable and cheaper alternative.
In fact, it may not be too long before entrepreneurs come up with the idea of "postal outsourcing" from India.
Kathy Miller, who runs The Neem Tree Trust, a charity organisation focussed on disadvantaged children in Tamil Nadu, had a pleasant experience with the Indian postal system recently. On a visit to India in October, she took along her charity Christmas cards designed by the children her organisation supports.
Her original idea was to write the Christmas cards there, bring them back to Britain and post them in December. But while in India, she discovered that if the envelopes were left unsealed, the cost of sending a card from India to Britain was eight rupees. If the same cards were posted in Britain, one can save 21 pounds for 150 cards.
Miller posted the cards in India, and they duly arrived at their addresses in Britain a week later. Her friends here were delighted to receive cards from India, and some even suggested that next year she take their own lot of Christmas cards to India to post.
Miller told IANS that her experience was not a criticism of Royal Mail, but she had heard of people going to India for dental treatment and operations, but wondered if others had taken advantage of the "excellent and inexpensive Indian postal system".
This Christmas, Royal Mail will deliver two billion items within Britain.