160 year-old telegraph service passing into history
It was a missive that brought both joy and grief, it was the quickest way to communicate. Now, the telecom and IT revolution and improved teledensity have made India's 163-year-old telegraph system redundant, with the last telegrams being sent out at the close of business hours Monday. India owes its telegraph system to its erstwhile British rulers who brought it to the country in 1833 to establish a communication system between their capital Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Howrah. It was expanded across the country in 1853 and even after the arrival of the telephony system in India early in the 20th century, it was the principal means of communications across the vast landmass. Telegrams to overseas destinations were stopped in 2013 and now, the final nail has been driven into the coffin. In fact the last recruitments in the telegraph department were done in 1985, around the time telephone services started improving. Telegraph Service employees feel that if the government wants, the postal department can take up the service, which will help many people who do not have access to mobile telephones or the internet.