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Hail the new good messenger!

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UNBEATABLE: Individual courier man delivers a letter.
UNBEATABLE: Individual courier man delivers a letter.

Satyasundar Barik

A unique service, trusted and patronised by prominent persons, including VIPs, has been thriving in the State's capital.

BHUBANESWAR: Want to send invitations to some 200 famous personalities of the capital city in a day? Thirty-five-year-old Simanchal Gouda can easily be trusted to do the bit with perfection.

After all, he has been a one-man courier for over 15 years now catering to the requirements of many people and social organisations. No matter whichever lane or by-lane of the city it may be, Mr. Gouda can simply trace it out and deliver your cards at the right address.

Mr. Gouda was in Class V when he ran away from his village Kahithakhandi in Ganjam district. After getting into few odd jobs he chose the profession of delivering letters and packets like a perfect courier man.

How did he start his present occupation 15 years ago when private courier companies were yet to land here? It all started at the Rotary Club of Bhubaneswar at Unit-IX area of the city when a gentleman entrusted him the job of distributing 50 cards for an event.

Self-help

With little knowledge of English and not having even a bicycle, Mr.

Gouda managed to do the duty by requesting addressees from house to house to pick up their cards from the bundle.

There has been no looking back for him since that great day of his life. A few months of his job as a boy to deliver the letters and he bought a bicycle, then a Luna and then his motorbike.

Now, he handles card distribution of six organisations on a regular basis.

Mr. Gouda is not the only individual messenger who has been doing this duty in the city.

There are several government employees working at the State Secretariat who have been doing a similar job after their duty hours.

These Class IV employees know how and when invitation cards or newly launched newspapers can be delivered at the doorstep of Ministers, journalists and top bureaucrats.

This is not all. Several other individuals are also into the job. A few of them are offering their services to certain music circles and literary organisations. All that these individuals charge from those using their services is not much.

Apart from their fuel charge, they get about Rs. 400 per assignment.

"It is a specialised job that no courier company can do at such a low cost," Mr. Gouda said.

"The card distribution needs a scientific mind. You have to keep cards in proper order to deliver them at right destination," he said.

S K B Narayan, who figures on several lists of invited persons, also certifies the service. "The invitations are hardly missed when they are in the hands of these individual messengers."

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