Several people queued up at the Central Telegraph Office till midnight on Sunday,all wanting to be a part of an era that is about to end. BSNL booked the last telegram around midnight on Sunday,two hours after the official closing time. Many people waited at the CTO till the closing hour,each trying to be the last person to send a telegram.
Now officially considered the last five telegrams the management is still contemplating on various options on how to preserve that part of history happen to be those sent by employees of Doordarshan,who send telegrams to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi,other senior politicians and their bosses.
Looking at the long queues,we asked our staff to collect the forms from people from the queues itself. Many of those people came on Monday to collect the receipts. We did not want to disappoint anyone who had come to book a telegram,most of them were first-timers,and it was an era coming to an end, BSNL Director (PR) Sanjay Sinha said.
Receipt no. 1333 has now been officially declared the last telegram.
Sinha said there was a tussle between many to be the ones booking the last telegram. What has now been declared the last telegram was addressed to Sri Rahul Gandhi,vice president,AICCE,and sent by Ashwani Mishra,Anchor,DD News,Delhi. DEAR SIR – WISH YOU ALL SUCESS AND HAPPYNESS IN LIFE,MAY YOU ATTAIN GLORIES OF THE GREATMAN OF THE PAST, was Mishras missive to Gandhi.
The CTO itself received a total of 2,200 telegrams on Sunday,while 100-odd others were booked from the Kashmere Gate and Delhi Cantonment telegraph offices. Although the final figures have not been compiled yet,officials said a total of over 20,000 telegrams were booked from across the country on Sunday.
Among the over 2,000 telegrams left to be sorted and dispatched from the CTO on Monday morning,the second-last telegram (no. 1332) has not been found yet. Receipt numbers 1330 and 1329 were sent by another employee of Doordarshan News,Ramaa Tyaagi,with one addressed to Arushi Chunns in Janakpuri. DEAR ARUSHI CHUNNS TELEGRAM IS NOW HISTORY TRY TO ALL YOUR NAMES IN HISTORY, reads her message.
In line was also the messenger sent by Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar,who had marked scores of telegrams to her relatives in Patna. As the rush increased,officials stopped filling in the time column for the bookings.
No official decision has been taken yet. But the management is considering preserving the last five telegrams as part of its archives,and also put these machines,the teleprinters,on exhibit at the BSNL headquarters, Sinha said.
The BSNL has stopped booking telegrams,but sorting and delivering the last telegram will take time,perhaps another week.