Writing those magical six-digit numbers in your letters could help them reach the right destination even if the address is incomplete. Pincodes, an abbreviation of postal index number code, that completes an address are often not given much significance.
A contest on usage of pincode recently conducted by the Tamil Nadu circle of the Department of Posts threw up many surprises. Of the 42,000 entries from across the State and Puducherry, only 3,560 had correct answers. Some of the winners chosen through a lucky draw here recently were primary school students from districts such as Tuticorin and Puducherry.
Though introduced to identify a particular location in a city and facilitate delivery of letters, specifying pincodes in addresses have become mandatory to obtain several services.
Even after three decades since its launch on August 15, 1972, only 60 per cent of the people are aware of pincodes. Officials of the Postal Department recalled instances when the mails travelled to different locations sharing the same name because they were devoid of pincode. Postmen played a pivotal role in delivering mails without proper address or pincode.
Right from how many digits does a pincode contain what they signify to their meaning, the contest had put forth interesting and informative questions to the participants.
Tamil Nadu and Kerala share the first digit of the pincode. While the first three digits indicate the district, the last three refer to the delivery post office. Starting from GPO (600001), Chennai has pincodes up to 600126 (Madambakkam).
Chief Post Master General (Tamil Nadu circle), Shanthi Nair, said the contest was open to school, college students and other customers to popularise the concept of using pincode. On an average, one or two pincodes are added in the State every year. When a delivery post office is merged, its pincode is later allotted to another. But, merging a post office with a separate pincode is a rare occurrence.
While three toppers get a laptop each, seven persons who share the second place won digital cameras, she said.
Since its launch in 1972 only 60 per cent of the people are aware of pincodes. The contest brought out interesting queries.