Quantcast
Latest Stories

Stop … India sends its last telegram



An Indian telegraph employee processes a telegram on the last day of the 163-year-old service at the central telegraph office in Mumbai, India, Sunday, July 14, 2013. Sunday night, the state-run telecommunications company will send its final telegram, closing down a service that fast became a relic in an age of email, reliable landlines and ubiquitous cellphones. AP Photo

NEW DELHI — India’s last telegram went out late Sunday, marking the end of a service that millions of Indians had relied on for fast communication for more than 160 years.

Hundreds of people thronged the 75 telegraph offices remaining in the country to send their last telegrams to friends or family as a keepsake.

The company cancelled holidays for staff at the offices to handle the rush, Shameem Akhtar, general manager at the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., which runs India’s telegram service, said Monday.

The company says declining revenues forced it to end the service, which had become obsolete in an age of email, reliable landlines and ubiquitous cellphones.

Some of the last-day users sent telegrams to Kapil Sibal, India’s minister for telecommunications, pleading for the service to be continued.

“The losses were mounting. It was not viable to have kept it going much longer,” Akhtar said. That was especially true as the number of cellphone users exploded, with 867 million subscribers as of April.

The telecommunications ministry said it lost $250 million in the last seven years and that it was time to put an end to the service.

India’s telegram service began in 1850, when the first telegram was sent from the eastern city of Kolkata to Diamond Harbor, a southern suburb nearly 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city center.

Over the next few decades, telegraph offices proliferated, wiring the vast subcontinent with a network that became known for its speed and dependability.

At its peak in the mid-1980s, more than 45,000 telegraph offices dotted the country, with tens of thousands of telegraph workers and delivery men dispatching more than 600,000 telegrams a day. From birth and death announcements, to college admissions, job appointments and court summons, the telegram was the main way tens of millions of Indians–in the remotest parts of the country and in its teeming cities–received important news.

Until recently, the government used telegrams to inform recipients of top civilian awards and for court notices. India’s armed forces even recognized telegrams from troops extending vacations or from soldiers’ families requesting their presence at home for a funeral.

It was not immediately known what mode of communication the government will choose to replace the telegram for these types of announcements, but officials said since a lot of work was now done electronically, government departments will likely opt for email.


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter




Recent Stories:

DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus 41 mins elapsed EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’ 42 mins elapsed Suspected militant, son killed in Thailand’s south 1 hour elapsed Iran mother spares life of son’s killer after campaign 1 hour elapsed Japan to hunt fewer whales in Pacific this season 1 hour elapsed Deal brings no immediate change to eastern Ukraine 1 hour elapsed China says one-fifth of its farmland is polluted 1 hour elapsed Pakistani madrassa names library after Bin Laden 1 hour elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cellphones , Email , India , infotech , Telecoms , Telegram

  • izakyakov

    i would like to get one of those last remaining telegraph equipment.. it will have a significant sentimental value in the near future and the collectors will tumble to get one of those.

    • DestronLeader

      Maybe they will auction off the telegraph equipments…

  • ReneV

    hahaha … and the equivalent of the Russian Secret Service is now looking for electric typewriters for its usual activities!

    • Ornbort

      in russia writer types you.

      • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        hehehe



Copyright © 2014,
.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement
  1. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  4. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  5. Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  6. Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  7. Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  8. Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  9. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  10. DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  1. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  2. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  3. Nude and so dangerous
  4. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  5. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  6. Netizens react to Pacquiao’s victory over Bradley
  7. IT technician found guilty of defrauding firm of P130,000
  8. Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  9. Samsung flagship smartphone goes on sale worldwide
  10. Heartbleed bug and what you need to know
  1. #RejectedBbPilipinas2014Questions flood Twitter
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Netizens fall in love with Crimea prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya
  4. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  5. Nude and so dangerous
  6. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  7. Why didn’t missing jet passengers use their cellphones?
  8. Russia tries to curb Crimean prosecutor’s Internet fame
  9. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  10. Netizens thank Capa for Lee arrest

News

  • Suspected militant, son killed in Thailand’s south
  • Iran mother spares life of son’s killer after campaign
  • Japan to hunt fewer whales in Pacific this season
  • Deal brings no immediate change to eastern Ukraine
  • China says one-fifth of its farmland is polluted
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Advertisement
    Marketplace