TAMIL NADU

Gramin Dak Sevaks go beyond call of duty to help villagers

Lending a hand:There are 236 Gramin Dak Sevaks working in the Vellore division.C. VENKATACHALAPATHYC_VENKATACHALAPATHY

Lending a hand:There are 236 Gramin Dak Sevaks working in the Vellore division.C. VENKATACHALAPATHYC_VENKATACHALAPATHY  

The sight of Ashwini Balaraman, 25, a Gramin Dak Sevak or postal extra-departmental employee, brings joy to the villagers of Chinnapallikuppam in Vellore district.

Despite the pandemic, she pedals to villages and delivers letters and helps Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) workers withdraw money through the Aadhaar-enabled payment system (AEPS). She and other Dak Sevaks also sensitise the villagers on the need for wearing masks and physical distancing. There are 236 such Gramin Dak Sevaks working in the Vellore division. Twenty-three of them are women working in rural areas, including Vannanthangal, Chinnapallikuppam, Appukal, Unai Vaniyambadi, Chitteri and Palamathi.

“We work for five hours every day. Work starts with collection of letters from the sub-post office. After the letters are sorted, I cycle to villages and deliver them. I cycle close to 20 km every day,” says Ms. Ashwini.

The Gramin Dak Sevaks carry close to Rs. 15,000 with them to help MGNREGA workers withdraw money. “Due to COVID-19 and the lack of transport, many are unable to go to banks or post-offices to collect money. I carry an AEPS device and help them withdraw cash,” says J. Savitha, 24, a Gramin Dak Sevak at Ongapadi, Vellore.

Whenever they go for delivering letters or helping villagers withdraw money, they highlight the importance of wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining physical distancing. “They have to use the fingerprint on the machine. So I ensure that they sanitise their hands before doing it,” she adds.

Komal Kumar, Superintendent of Post Offices, Vellore, said the Gramin Dak Sevaks were self-motivated.

R. Udayapriya, Inspector of Posts, Vellore West Sub-division, said, “The people have been able to make use of the AEPS fully during the pandemic.”

Recommended for you