The sale of Gangajal from post offices is slowly picking up since the launch of the scheme in July, with some buying it as a gift for Diwali. On Thursday, 65-year old Avanil Patel, a retired government employee, was surprised to see Ganga water from Rishikesh and Gangotri, packed in neat bottles of 200 and 500 ml, being sold at the counter in Nanpura post office, which he visited regularly for postal savings schemes. He promptly bought a 500 ml bottle of Ganga water for Rs 22.
Patel said that he used to have a canister of Gangajal at home, but it got over. “I used to ask friends to bring the holy water for me from Rishikesh. Now, I will not have to. This is convenient,” he said.
The Surat Postal department started selling Gangajal from the head post office in Mahidharpura and Nanpura PO from a special counter. However, the sale took time to pick up due to lack of awareness.
In Ahmedabad, the sale is centralised through the general post office. Sources at the Navrangpura post office, which is one of the city’s busiest, said they had received the first lot of 176 bottles of 200 ml, and 240 bottles of 500 ml on July 16. “Of the 176, 157 are sold while the entire stock of 500 ml bottles were sold on a single day on September 23,” said a source.
Store head with postal department at Nanpura Deepak Desai said, “After the first stock came to our office, employees of the postal department were the first to purchase it and later, the postal agents and now other customers. We have also spread the message to our relatives and friends and started taking orders of the holy water. Earlier, the demand was not much, but since the last couple of days the sale has jumped… Some of the customers told us that they want to gift these bottles to their relatives and friends in Diwali, in place of sweets and dry fruits. With just days to Diwali, there is a rise in the sale of Gangajal and we have got sufficient stock.”
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The 200 ml and the 500 ml bottles of Gangajal from Rishikesh are priced at Rs 15 and Rs 22, respectively, while those from Gangotri are sold at Rs 25 and Rs 35, respectively. However. the amount gets doubled for delivery at the door step.
Senior Superintendent of post Mita Shah said, “The water is directly sourced from Rishikesh and Gangotri and people have not challenged the authenticity as the brand of the postal department is attached to it. At present not many people know about Gangajal being sold from postal office and we are planning to carry out systematic campaign for its publicity.”
(Inputs by Nihali Shah and Jigar Joshi in Ahmedabad)