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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Testimony to the history of settlers

Witness to past:The single-room post office has seen the changes in the settlement town of Thopramkudy, near Kattappana in Idukki. 

Thopramkudy post office was the main link of communication of settlers

A single-room ED (extra departmental) post office stands testimony to the early years of settlement in the High Ranges here. Thopramkudy, which derived its name from Thombran, a chieftain of the Mannan tribe, is now known for the largest volume of vegetable business under the Swayasraya Karshaka Vipani of Vegetables and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK).

Though the town witnessed fast development, the post office, which was the main link of communication in the early period of settlement, has undergone very little change except from a grass-thatched roof to the asbestos sheet. The post office functions on two cents of land donated by an early settler. It was the place where the local people reached to collect the occasional letters from their relatives. At a time when Thopramkudy was cut off from the plains and there were no bus services, the post office bridged the gap. Though there is no mention of the exact date of its launch, it was the local people who made the structure and donated it for the post office. “Thopramkudy’s history is incomplete without mentioning the post office,” says Vinayachandran Palackel, who has studied the ethno-religious aspect of local history.

Strong bond

In the early days, the postal letters formed a strong bond between settlers and their relatives from the place of their origin,” he said adding that there was collective sharing of the information received through the letters. The news of death or birth could reach here only after a week and the post office kindled the ethnic-bond here , he added.

Anandavalliyamma Muralidharan, who has been the post-master for 33 years, said it was set up nearly half-a-century back.

She was the second postmaster and knows about its history from the settlers. The post office now functions till noon though it handles a good volume of postage items.
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