The 163 year old Telegram service in India will come to a close today. Telegram which was started experimentally in 1850 between Kolkata and Diamond Harbor was made available to the public in 1854. It was once the fastest means of communication in India. People in the olden times consider receiving a telegram as an event. People usually use telegrams for passing messages such as birth or death in a family while the government sends job postings and appointments via telegram.
Telegrams were sent using the complex dots and dashes of Morse code which is then decoded at the destination. The telegraph operators who send these coded telegrams required to be trained. Before the use of mobile phones, telegram was the fastest and the main means of communication across our nation.
State run telecom firm BSNL has decided to discontinue telegram services and the main reason for its discontinuation is the fall in its revenue. The annual amount generated is 75 lakh when compared to the huge cost of over 100 crore for maintaining and managing it. At present there are 75 telegram centers in India and around 1000 employees for managing it. These employees will be now given jobs in other departments of telecommunication services for managing their mobile, landline and broadband services.
With new inventions in technology and better means of communication, the demand and usage of telegram reduced. Now people depend upon telephones and mobile phones for communication. From tomorrow onwards, the telegram service will no longer be available.
In Kerala, the first telegraph service was commenced in Alleppey, Quilon and Trivandrum in the year 1864. With the news of shutting down of the telegraph service spread, many have come to the BSNL offices to send their first and last telegram to be a part of the historical service. It is said that the last telegram will be preserved as a museum piece.