Though e-mails and SMSs (Short Message Service) have come to define the new-age ways of sending and receiving greetings, the postal department still hasn’t lost the plot yet, or so it seems if one were to go by the number of greetings sent from the head post office in Thanjavur for Pongal this year.

"We have sent 50,000 greetings for Pongal from Thanjavur Head Post Office this year. In Thanjavur division comprising of 84 sub-post offices and three head post offices (Thanjavur, Papanasam and Mannargudi) we have sent one lakh greetings from January 1-13," said postal officials.

"Business firms and corporates still prefer greeting letters. Individuals, particularly youngsters, however, evince interest in sending e-mails and SMS”, said A.K.Firoze Mohideen, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Thanjavur division.

Many politicians have used post offices for sending greetings to their followers and well wishers during Pongal. One politician, who aspires to contest from Thanjavur in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election, has sent 15,000 Pongal greetings by post this year from Thanjavur. Some firms have sent 5,000-6,000 greetings.

Sending money orders as gifts and varisai too is continuing. "We booked 25,000 electronic money orders for Pongal this year,” Mr.Mohideen said.

Keeping in tune with the changing times, postal department too has become tech-savvy with Instant Money Orders and Mobile Money Transfer Service (MMTS), said Mr. Mohideen .

Under MMTS, minimum amount of Rs.1,000 and a maximum of Rs.10,000 can be sent in a single transaction. There is no limit to the number of transactions per day.

The Department of Post had partnered with State-run Bharath Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to launch MMTS service. Under MMTS, customer will have the facility to send money anywhere in the country. Specially designed mobile handsets with pre-installed mobile money transfer application have been provided to the select offices for the service.

Core Banking Solutions (CBS) would be added to Savings Bank services of Post Offices from February 17. Once CBS is in place, customers can withdraw money from their account from any post office (including sub-post offices), the official said.