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Amanatdhar – Postman re-emerges to serve people

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By: Vivek Bhat

Ringing down the avenue pedalling his bicycle against the cool breeze coming from river Jhelum kissing his countenance, “Amanatdhar” Roshan kaka advanced towards modern lane where he pulled over and put lock to his bicycle as he had approached near house of one Gh Qadir Bhat to deliver happiness to him who had been selected in revenue department. Every time when he had fumbled through his bag he pulled out a different kind of emotion; happiness, melancholy, tragedy and more. He had a magic bag where every emotion dwelled harmonically. Reading a letter to Jigri was very tough for she had lost a brother in road accident yet he couldn’t refuse to do so all he could do was to refuse a cup of Kashmiri salted tea. Every lane he used to pass people made way for him such was his reverence for he had bailments to hand over to their actual owners. People used to take suggestions from him. Students far from their homes waiting eagerly to hear from family and some for money orders for their expenses used to wait for him like a lover waiting for his beloved at river banks.

Long ago Roshan kaka had been amalgamated with Panchtatvas, Gh Qadir Bhat also laid to the rest in his grave so was the Jigri, so were personal letters, so were emotions, so was the stature of Amanatdhar but not his relevance. indeed advent of telephony has brought a paradigm shift in lives of human. it has brought them closer a least apart a most because telephony lacks the euphoria that letter used to bring when wait of days or months was involved.

“Familiarity breeds contempt it’s an old dictum.” Cut to topic again, the Amanatdhar is yet an Amanatdhar. Time changes people change and wise is the one who adopts the change. Prudently the Department of Posts has reoriented all its setup in accordance with changing times and technologies and leveraging the very old connection of postman staff with society especially in rural areas. Government envisages bringing banking services and products to unreached masses.

From delivering letters and telegrams in past  to  important documents such as Aadhar cards, Pancards, Passports, Merchandise Parcels, Driving licenses, Policy bonds, ATM cards,  Tenders, Departmental correspondence, Study materials at doorsteps, DOP has raised the position of Amanatdhar more altitudinous and he has been tasked to bring bank itself at your doorstep. “Aapka Bank Aapke Dwar” is tagline of India Post Payment Bank (IPPB) launched on 1 September 2018 by the Prime Minister which is 100 percent government owned public bank and will use more than 3 lakhs postmen and Grameen Dak Sevaks (GDS) to deliver services.

Through one of its kind initiative Government of India, via world largest postal network having more than 1.50 lakh urban and rural branches, aspires to financially include every citizen in banking system and Postman is chosen to complete this task through hand held smartphones and aadhar based biometric devices. During pandemic the monetary help conferred under Pradhan Mantri Garib KalyanYojna (PMGKY) was distributed to lockdown beneficiaries at their doorstep by DOP through postmen using Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS). Evidently by banks like IPPB government has started transfer of various government subsidies and scholarships directly to the accounts of beneficiaries through DBT and this is indeed a pack up call for middlemen.

What is a payments bank?

A Payments bank functions same like any other bank but without credit facilities. It can accept deposits up to 1 lakh and offers remittance services like mobile payments/bank transfers/utility bill payments/insurance premium collection etc. It targets small scale businessmen, migrant laborers, farmers, low income households etc. The main objective of payments bank is financial inclusion so is to reach the unreached.

During coronavirus pandemic DOP has bagged the prestigious award from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) for being chosen as best logistics service in such tiring times also it has been acknowledged by Switzerland based “Universal Postal Union” that during these pandemic times India Post thrived to deliver medicines, protective equipment, ventilators, food supplies and also money at the doorsteps of people locked down through (AEPS) again via its most credible medium, your own “Amanatdhar”.

Once-ubiquitous postman who was receding from our memories due to emergence of faster means of communication will re-emerge as an axis of government thrust to deliver banking to unreached.

– The writer is an employee in Employee Department of Posts GOI and can be reached at viv1bhat@gmail.com.

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