India Sends Its Last Telegram

Hundreds crowd offices to send out final messages

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 15, 2013 1:39 PM CDT

(Newser) India's last telegram went out late yesterday, marking the end of a service that millions of Indians had relied on for fast (relatively speaking) communication for more than 160 years. Hundreds of people thronged the 75 telegraph offices remaining in the country to send their last telegrams to friends or family as a keepsake. The company that ran the nation's telegram service says declining revenues forced the decision.

Some of the last-day users sent telegrams to Kapil Sibal, India's minister for telecommunications, pleading for the service to be continued. But with losses mounting year every year in the digital age, that's not going to happen. At last count, India had 867 million cellphone users. Until recently, the government used telegrams to inform recipients of top civilian awards and for court notices. What will the government use now? Most likely email.

An Indian telegraph employee processes a telegram on the last day of the 163-year-old service at the central telegraph office in Mumbai, India, Sunday, July 14, 2013.   (Rafiq Maqbool)
Indians send telegrams on the last day of the 163-year-old service at the central telegraph office in Mumbai, India, Sunday, July 14, 2013.   (Rafiq Maqbool)
Mahinder, who claims to have made a living working as a telegram agent for the past six decades, wipes his tears on the last day of telegram service in Mumbai, India, Sunday, July 14, 2013.   (Rafiq Maqbool)
An Indian army soldier reacts as he prepares to send a telegram on the last day of the 163-year-old service at a telegraph office in Kolkata, India, Sunday, July 14, 2013.   ((AP Photo) INDIA OUT)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
4%
28%
51%
9%
2%
6%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!