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Technological advances may have made it possible for us to share messages in seconds, but snail mail still holds a special place in the world of written communication. It is to celebrate this vintage medium that the World Post Day is observed every year.
The World Post Day is celebrated on October 9 to highlight the importance of postal services in everyday lives of people and businesses, as well as its contribution to global social and economic development. October 9 was chosen as the day as this was the date in 1874 when the Union Postal Service (UPU) was started in Switzerland. UPU is credited for starting the global communications revolution, introducing the ability to write to others all over the world.
October 9 was declared World Post Day at the 1969 UPU Congress in Tokyo after Anand Mohan Narula, a member of the Indian delegation, submitted a proposal in this regard.
How is World Post day celebrated
On this day, members of the UPU are encouraged to organise activities to celebrate the day, including everything from the introduction or promotion of new postal products and services, to the organisation of open days at post offices, mail centres and postal museums.
Taking cue from UPU's suggessions, post offices across the world hold events to commemorate the day. While some countries mark the day by holding special stamp collection exhibitions, there are also places where workshops on postal history are conducted.
History of postal system
Postal systems have been operational for many centuries, though their form kept changing over time. People have been sharing letters through mail since ages. At first, these were delivered on foot or on horseback by special messengers. From the 1600s, the first national postage systems began springing up in many countries.  
In the following years, countries came together to allow exchange of mails internationally. A global postal system came into being in the late 1800s, but it was the birth of UPU in 1874 that opened the way for the efficient postal service that is in existence today.
In 1948, the UPU become an agency of the United Nations.
The Indian postal service
According to an article published in Press Information Bureau's website (, India has many firsts to its name when it comes to postal services. The world’s first airmail flight took off in India, delivering a mail from Allahabad to Naini on February 18,1911. The credit for issuing Asia’s first postal stamp also goes to India.
The Indian postal service was regularised in October 1852 with the introduction of regular India Postage stamps. In the same year, an all-comprehensive Indian Post Office Act was enacted. Rail mail service (RMS) also began in the same year.
The first independence stamps, depicting the Ashoka Pillar (National Emblem of India), the Indian National Flag and an aircraft, was issued in 1947.
With a total of 154,939 post offices (as on 31.03.2015), India Post ranks as the world’s largest postal network. At the time of independence, there were only 23,344 post offices in the country.