New Delhi, Aug 30 (PTI):
Prime ministers changed as did ministers and there were new MP faces every five years but Ram Sharan Postman’, assigned the Parliament beat, remained a constant walking up and down the corridors of power for the last 21 years. Right till he delivered his last daak’.
The common man who found himself among India’s most powerful, Ram Sharan retires on Tuesday, content, he says, to have served all with equal importance and without a single complaint.
You don’t get to deliver mail inside the House for 21 years if you make mistakes and bring back complaints, Ram Sharan told PTI, a day ahead of his final adieu from the postal service on Tuesday and three days after he dropped his last daak’ in Parliament on Friday.
Had Monday not been Janmashtami, today would have been his last working day in Parliament . After long hours of walking from one office to another to deliver mail inside the sprawling Parllament House complex, Ram Sharan said he would take a few moments to quietly sip tea outside the Red Cross building on Sansad Marg and reflect on the day that had been.
I never let anyone be disappointed. If anyone asked me about their mail not getting delivered, I’d make sure it reached them or at least knew where it was stuck. Be it a senior minister or an ordinary person like you or I, my job was to deliver their post which I did as best as I could, Ram Sharan said.
When he was posted at Parliament House in 2000, nobody wanted to take the beat because of its labyrinthian corridors and seemingly similar rooms and doors that appeared confusing to most.
People were afraid to be posted there. They would request to be shifted within two days. In the initial few days, I, too, was confused as the doors were the same, the rooms looked the same and some paths would end abruptly and you ended up at places you weren’t going to, he recalled in a phone interview.
The map was soon etched on his mind though, and he continued delivering mail to their recipients without error with the help of the House staff. Walking through the maze that is Parliament House, the postman said it was not unusual for him to come across ministers or their staff, who became familiar with the man with mail and helped him in small matters.
Prime ministers and ministers, all these people kept changing, but my focus was always on my duty. The post office gave me a duty and it was my responsibility to perform it with perfection, said the 60-year-old.
Much has changed since 2000 when he was given the beat. Back then, Mondays were the busiest as well as heaviest days. Every Monday, he would put three bags of mail, each weighing 50 kg, in the postal van, which then dropped the bags at the Parliament library.
With the decreasing popularity of postal services — as communications entered the e-age, and the definition of mail changed to emails — the load has now reduced to one, maybe two bags on Mondays. The rest of the week, it’s barely 17 kg on average.
There is a method in how every postman functions and Ram Sharan takes pride in the regimen he developed for himself. Talking about his day, Ram Sharan said he would reach Gol Dak Khana at 10 am from his home in Faridabad. For the next hour and a half, he would sort mail, make entries in the computer, load the mail and wheel out his cycle to make the one-kilometre journey to Parliament House.
New Delhi, Aug 30 (PTI):