As per a personal request from HRD and Education Minister Arjun Singh, recently a decision was taken at the meeting of boards of Governors of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), which runs just under a thousand public schools, to admit students from the families of postmen serving rural areas (termed as ‘grameen dak sevak’) on priority basis. Most of these grameen dak sevaks work on ad-hoc basis. The decision will take effect from the academic session of 2009.
Postmen are recruited in two categories i.e. for Urban and Rural postings. Even with the advent of Internet and other modern modes of communication, postmen remain a major link between remote rural areas and rest of this vast country.
Apart from delivering letters of near and dear ones working thousands of kilometer away, the village postman reads out letters to the illiterate and even write ones for them. Over 3.5 lakhs (three hundred fifty thousands) postmen are working in remote areas, many of which are still almost inaccessible.
But with the advent of the super communication systems like Internet, mobiles and of course the ever trusted efficient land phones, the rate of recruitment in postal service, particularly in the rural areas where it is needed most, has been on the wane.
In view of this, earlier this year, the Indian postal service department, (IndiaPost) wrote to Communication and IT ministry to introduce some kind of incentive-other than salary-for rural postmen because of dwindling interest in the profession.
The Communication and IT ministry, in turn, wrote to the HRD and Education ministry proposing admission of wards of grameen dak sevaks in rural areas, in the KVS on a par with Central Government Employees. Earlier, this facility was not available to grameen dak sevaks as most of them were working on ad-hoc basis.
The Kendriya Vidyalays are funded fully by the Central Government. These schools provide quality education almost at zero cost and as such admitting wards of grameen dak sevaks to these schools will attract more people to this profession in postal service.