A group of street and working children in the Capital got together at the Central Telegraph Office at Janpath here on Thursday to use the telegram service for one last time to voice their concerns and issues.

Under the programme, Badhte Kadam, the children are sending telegrams to various authorities in seven districts of Agra, Delhi, Gwalior, Jhansi and Mathura to apprise them of the issues they are facing.

“Around 1,000 children, who will be using the service for the first time and maybe the last time, are part of this event. They have various kinds of messages for different people. They are very enthusiastic about the event,” said Sanjay Gupta, director of Childhood Enhancement through Training and Education (CHETNA), a Delhi-based non-government organisation working for street and working children.

He said India Post has been advocating for different issues for a long time.

“Making use of telegrams, the children want to commemorate India Post for its achievement and emphasise the urgency and importance of their messages,” said Mr. Gupta.

Chandni, the 15-year-old spokesperson of Badhte Kadam, said: “The messages vary in their content; some carrying wishes like ‘Honorable President, please give time to children’s issues’, others are complaints like ‘Sector 104-Noida government school is not giving us admission, kindly help’, while still others seek help by pointing to crimes like ‘gambling and substance abuse is rampant in our park, stop it’.”

“This event comes at a time when Indian authorities are shutting down the country’s 163-year-old telegram service in mid-July. Taar as it is called in India was inextricably linked with key moments of life and was used as an urgent mode of communication. Plummeting revenues have forced many post offices to withdraw the service even before the scheduled time but these children are very enthusiastic about the event and are working hard to make it a success,” added Mr. Gupta.