VISIT THE PAST
(Posts and Telegraphs in India dates back more than two and half centuries. TU movement in P and T is more than one century old. We do not have all the records of the glorious past of the P and T and the TU movement. While going through the available old records, there emerges certain interesting information, which our comrades and friends may like to read. Such information is being published in this column. Knowing the past will enable a person to face the future with more confidence. Same with trade union workers also.) Some interesting information of the early decades of last century is given here:
Qualifications required for Indian, but not for British.
Indians being recruited for posts like Telegraphist, Telephone Operators are required to have I.Sc qualification. But no requirement of qualifications for the British applicants! The fact that they are British was sufficient. Interesting!
Transfers all over India
Telegraphists were transferred from one end to the other end of the country. In 1925, many from Bengal were transferred to Punjab. How low paid workers can face these transfers? It was the same in Railways also.
Few meritorious officials were honoured with status awards like OBE, Rai Bahadur, Khan Bahadur, Khan Sahib etc. No financial benefit.
Women Telegraphists and Telephone Operators were not allowed to marry. ’No Marriage’ condition. If they marry, they will have to resign from service. Telephone Operators were treated as non –pensionable service at first.
Change of Name
Officials were allowed to change name, which will be published in the DG P&T Circulars. An example: “ Lineman Kannan Nair of Bangalore Division will henceforth be known as A.K.Kannan”.
“Lineman Shervaz of Lahore Division will henceforth known as Mohammed Sadiq’”
Union journals published birth , marriage and death
About half a page was almost allotted for ‘birth, marriage and death’ column in ‘Telegraph Recorder,’ published by Henry Barton, General Secretary of Indian Telegraph Association (ITA). A few examples are given:
“Birth – On 15th November 1924, at the Maternity Hospital Madras to Mrs. Hogg, wife of H.C.Hogg, a bonnie daughter”
“Marriage – St. George Church Agra, on Saturday, the 27th December 1924, Joseph Edward Hopkins to Ida Blanche Adams”
“Death – Constance Mercy, the beloved daughter of N.A.Brown(Associate) aged one year and 7 months. Deeply mourned by sorrowful parents and relations”
Some times reports were also published about “Tennis at Home”, Charity matters, Dance programme etc. which were participated by the employees.
It can be seen that these were part of the system in Britain, which percolated to India. At that time India was under British rule. (to be continued)