For decades, they delivered news to people across the country. But with the advent of technology and newer means of telecommunication, they will be edged out in a couple of days as the Ministry of Telecommunications has decided to disconnect telegram services from July 15.
It was an emotional moment for employees presently rendering telegram services and their retired colleagues at a get-together organised at the CTO office in Secunderabad on Saturday. Together they walked down the memory lane and had reminiscences of the days when a knock on the door with a telegram was responded with eagerness or anxiety.
Eighty-four-year-old R.A. Padmanabhan of Bowenpally, who retired in 1986, was present on the occasion. He said the employees were proud of discharging their duties with absolute discipline and punctuality.
“We won’t forget this service so entwined with our life. We have been quick to bury this 160-year-old service thanks to faster and modern means of connectivity. Perceived as obsolete and loss-making in the age of mobile phones and the Internet, it makes a nostalgic exit,” said K. Prasad Rao, former General Manager, Department of Telecom.
Another employee said the service would be mainly remembered as an inexpensive one, but a relatively quick method of sending alerts related to births, deaths and emergency situations.
Advocates, banks and government organisations are currently utilising the service only to make sure that their clients receive messages, while Army personnel have been using it for applying for emergency leave.