NEW DELHI: The government is planning to use India Post's 1.55 lakh-strong branch network to reach out to citizens in far flung and backward areas and educate them about the various policies, schemes and incentives.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting runs various awareness programmes for the citizens leveraging the Internet and the social media.
However, these initiatives are still out of the reach of many who live in backward and far flung areas there is no connectivity, sources said.
"This category of population is sizable and within the reach of post offices. I&B Ministry can design programmes region-wise, which can then be used by the postman to go to these areas and educate the people," a source said.
The idea is to utilise the huge network of India Posts' post offices across the country, especially to reach out to people in areas not connected with the Internet, and educate them about the government's policies, schemes and incentives, the sources added. With the world's largest postal network, India Post has about 1.55 lakh post offices spread across the country.
On an average, a post office serves an area of 21.21 sq km and a population of 7,175 people.
Besides, postman can also be used for directly collecting feedback from the people in rural areas on various policies and schemes, sources added.
"Also digital boards and panels can be set up at the post offices across these areas to educate people on not just schemes and policies, but also on issues related to health and education," they said.
The Task Force set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is already holding consultations in this regard with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Modi has set up the Task Force to leverage the postal network in India to enhance the role of India Posts in financial inclusion, among other services and it is expected to submit its report by year-end.
The Task Force includes the Department of Posts Secretary Kavery Banerjee, Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg, Department of Electronics and IT Secretary R S Sharma, Rural Development Secretary L C Goyal and former SEBI Chairman G N Bajpai.
Former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian is the Chairman of the Task Force.
Source : http://www.newindianexpress.com/