For Chennai's postmen and postwomen, Friday's was not a usual door-to-door walk delivering letters. Instead, they walked the ramp in dapper new uniforms as the postal department held a first of its kind fashion parade for its staff in its 197-year-old history.
And the 15 postmen and as many postwomen who walked the ramp were nothing less than professionals. Each of them walked the ramp twice and paused, before swirling around and walking back.
M Muruganandham, who walked with the first prize of Rs 10,000 came dressed in a khaki cape. Well, come to think of it, in an age when there was no WhatsApp or Facebook, the postmen were the lifeline of communication.
"Normally we are a neglected lot. Some security guards even feel we are a nuisance. They don't understand we are only doing our job," one of the participants told Times Of India.
The postwomen had a new take on their traditional khaki salwar kameezes--they paired it up with shirts over them, while some carried colourful umbrellas and bags.
Mervin Alexander, the postmaster general of Chennai, the man behind the event, said that it was organised to reinvent the nearly two centuries old institution.
Alexander said that the senior department officials wanted the postal department to step out of their old culture and take pride in their work. "We are trying to reinvent the old postman-and-customer relationship because it's dying a slow death," he said.
He said that this will boost their confidence which will lead to improved customer service.
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