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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Villagers raise funds to build post office

KENDRAPADA: In this age of internet and mobile phones, when post offices have lost their relevance, Kuseapala here still believes in the traditional mode of communication. Kuseapala's80-year-old post office has found a new address in a pucca house, which the locals help built recently.

The villagers said that building a one-room post office was not easy, especially when it came to garnering funds. But they take so much pride in the postal service that they all donated generously. "The mud house with a thatched roof was falling apart. Two months back, we started motivating the people to donate. We built up a corpus of Rs 1.5 lakh," said Biswanath Behera, 73, a retired engineer from the area, who donated Rs 10,000.

He pointed out that people in the villages still write letters, send and receive parcels. "They have great faith in the system and it's a way of life here. Courier services are more popular in the cities," he added.

Manoj Kumar Jena, a villager, couldn't control his joy. "I am so happy that we have a concrete room to house our post office. It was a long-standing demand. Now it has been fulfilled with our effort," he gushed.

Adhikari Golakha Bihari Das, Kuseapala sarpanch, said they had requested the department of posts many times to build a new room for the post office. "But our requests fell on deaf ears. Finally, we have done it," he said with pride, adding that he had donated Rs 5,000.

Post master of the district post office Bijaya Ketan Patnaik said all the 310 rural post offices have no permanent houses. "In many villages, post masters run the Extra Department Branch Post Offices (EDPOs) from their homes, or on the premises of gram panchayat offices and schools," he said.

Rural post masters are not permanent employees of the postal department, they are paid a monthly allowance of Rs 4,000 to Rs 6,000.

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