Visakhapatnam: The humble postcard, one of the oldest available forms of communication in the country, is well on its way to becoming history.
Due to drop in sales across the country and high printing charges, senior officials of the Indian Postal Department have asked the Union ministry of communications to review and permit withdraw the postcard services.
The postcard has been one of the cheapest forms of communication till the advent of email, and was popular with a majority of the people across the country who utilised it to share information till the 1980s. However, after the 1990s, usage of the postcard gradually dipped and sales dropped each successive year.
After the digital revolution, sale of postcards plummeted to one per cent of what they were in their heydays. With unsold postcards piling up at post offices, postmasters are not sending indents for fresh stock.
As there is no demand for postcards, the department has already stopped their printing. According to sources, the department spends Rs 7 to print a postcard and it is sold for 50 paisa. “Yes, no postmaster is sending indent for postcards. Almost 98 per cent of demand for the postcard dropped. There is meaningless to print the cards as there are no sales. The department has a huge stock of postcards. The department is already asked the government to withdraw the postcard service,” a senior official from New Delhi said.
The present generation is not aware of the postal cover and postcard. In the present digital revolution, the people have almost ended letter writing and are using smartphones for almost all forms of communication. “The government should stop letter writing questions in school syllabus. Letter writing question fetches up to 10 marks but it is useless now. Instead of letter writing question, it is better to introduce one more question considering current communication methods,” V.S. Sarma, a retired headmaster of a high school.
Meanwhile, Visakhapatnam postmaster general, M. Venkateswarlu informed that there was no formal communication from the government on stopping postcard services.