Pigeons To Post: History Of Indian Postal Services


Is the torrent in spate? He must ford it or swim

Has the rain wrecked the road? He must climb by the cliff

The service admits not a but, nor an if,

While the breath’s in his mouth, he must bear without fail

In the name of the Emperor- the overland mail

Rudyard Kipling

As Kipling rightly said, to the thousands of postmen, who toil, Pigeons to Post; Book on India Post and History of Indian Postal Services is Steve Borgia’s tribute to the unsung heroes of India Post, The Postman.

Indian Postal System, with 1, 55,618 post offices and over 5, 66,000 employees, is considered to be the largest postal network in the World. The History of Postal service goes back to around 2000 B.C, says Steve, who is an Indologist and Creator. Mentor and Developer of INDeco Leisure Hotels, in his book, from smoke men and drummers to Ibn Batuta, Sher Shah Suri and Akbar to Clive and Hasting to Waghorn, Diwan-i- Barids to Post office acts. The evolution never stopped. It evolved with people. People, place and technology.

Steve took almost 15 years to come out with this wonderful Coffee table book on India Post. He had to undertake several travels to London to collect the details of British Raj. The book is quite exhaustive, with full of facts, interesting stories and rare photographs. He mentions about the mail runners carrying mail, who changed at every 8 mile point.  How The Postal department played different roles of a travel operator (Palki Dawk), The Hotelier (Dak Bungalow) and met several other community needs. Interesting stories on Penny Black, World’s stamp (1840) and Schinde Dak Stamp, first stamp in India (1852).

book contains a 1 meter centre spread on the  wide range of distribution system of Indian Postal Services.

Foot Runners: ‘Dak’ runners/ Harkara. Horse Dawk, started by first Sultan of Delhi, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, thenCamel Dawk introduced by Akbar,Catamaran Mailman– mainly used in the backwater region of Bengal and South India, mainly Kerala,Mail Carriage, considered as a major milestone in the evolution of Postal Services,Bullock cart Mail and Bullock cart train, Rail Mail, Sea Mail and Postman Cycle that continues to be the best ally of Postman till now. Air Mail; How many of you know that World’s first air mail started in India on 11 Feb 1911 by a French pilot named Henri Pequet?

And on 12THFebruary 2011,to mark the centenary of India introducing airmail to the world, Pigeons to Post was released at INDIPEX ,a global postal meet, inaugurated  by the President of India, Shrimathi. Pratibha Patil, at New Delhi.

The book also has rare photos of tools used by mail runners and postman. Stories and rare pictures of General Post offices of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. Detailed description on letterboxes. 1 22 page chronology right from 2300 BC when Egyptian Pharaohs’ message were inscribed on clay tablets to 2010 when India post joined Twitter, one of the first Government department to do so to Sachin Pilot, the present Minister for Communication launching environment friendly postal delivery vehicle named’ Soleckshaw’.

Pigeons to Post is not only a book on Indian Postal Services but a well researched book on Indian History. The book is available on all the leading bookstores. Steve’s dream is to make this book available in all the schools in India, for the younger generation to understand and appreciate their rich heritage.

You can read the exclusive blog on the book Pigeons to Post : http://www.pigeonstopost.blogspot.com/ 

To know more about Steve Borgia and various initiatives by him, visit http://www.indecohotels.com/indeconews.html

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