World Post Day 2020: Signifance, contribution of postal service, especially during COVID-19 pandemic
From distribution of testing kits to delivery of medicines, postal employees in India have emerged as COVID-19 warriors continuing to work in the face of adverse conditions
World Post Day, which is celebrated every year on 9 October is the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in the Swiss Capital, Bern. The UPU Congress that was held in Tokyo Japan in 1969, declared 9 October to be World Post Day.
According to the United Nations, with a network comprising more than six lakh offices and 5.3 million staff, the Post is unparalleled in its ability to deliver services.
Moreover, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Post has stepped in to offer everything from the delivery of critical personal protective equipment to testing kits and medications. They are also instrumental in delivering educational materials so that youngsters can carry on with schooling from home seamlessly.
On the occasion of World Post Day, United Nation General Secretary stated, "On World Post Day, I thank postal workers and postal operators for your efforts, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Nations will continue to build on our partnership with you and the Universal Postal Union in our efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."
He went on to add that Postal workers have launched innovative community services, tending to older people and those who are socially isolated during these trying times, and have delivered life-saving medicines and equipment as well as helped ensure that food parcels and funds reach those in need.
The World Post Day was originally proposed by Shri Anand Mohan Narula, a member of the Indian delegation in the 1969 UPU Congress. However, the first known postal document dates back to 255 BC and was found in Egypt. The world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system was the Penny Black and was first issued in Great Britain, on 1 May 1840.
Significance of World Post Day
According to United Nations, World Post Day aims to create awareness of the role of postal sector in the lives of both people and business and towards it contribution towards a country’s social and economic development. The celebration also encourages member countries to undertake programme activities aimed at generating a broader awareness of the role of the Post and activities among the public and media on a national scale.
In many countries it is a working holiday. Countries often organise philatelic exhibitions and introduce and promote new postal products as well. The UPU also organises the International Letter-Writing Competition and national winners are often honoured on 9 October.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted about World Post Day, writing, "On World Post Day, I want to congratulate all the employees of @IndiaPostOffice - the largest postal network in the world, for their stellar service to citizens even during pandemic. My tribute to those employees who lost their lives during the pandemic while serving the nation."
On #WorldPostDay, I want to congratulate all the employees of @IndiaPostOffice- the largest postal network in the world, for their stellar service to citizens even during pandemic.
My tribute to those employees who lost their lives during the pandemic while serving the nation. pic.twitter.com/9q5br2GdEs
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) October 9, 2020
The Ministry of Culture also tweeted on the occasion, saying, "Apart from connecting people, postal services have an important contribution to socio-economic development. Happy World Post Day. #WorldPostDay."
— Ministry of Culture (@MinOfCultureGoI) October 9, 2020
India Post's official Twitter account wished everybody, writing, "We gratefully acknowledge the faith and trust reposed in us by our esteemed customers. India Post salutes all its employees for their selfless service to the nation especially during the Covid 19 pandemic."
India Post wishes everyone a very happy #WorldPostDay. We gratefully acknowledge the faith and trust reposed in us by our esteemed customers. India Post salutes all its employees for their selfless service to the nation especially during the Covid 19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/R9w0VFWFWo
— India Post (@IndiaPostOffice) October 9, 2020
Children will be given half the proportion of what adults get ie, a dose of 0.5 ml will be given to kids compared to 1ml in adults. It will be an intramuscular injection like other vaccines
The daily vaccination tally is expected to increase with the compilation of the final reports for the day by late night, the ministry said
The West Bengal government has issued COVID-19 guidelines for the pandals. Like last year, the pandals will have to be open and spacious and organisers will have to ensure that no crowding takes place.