The coastal areas of Arabian Sea from Kerala to Bombay and north onwards used to get heavy rains. It is the same now also. In the recent years, it has become usual to have heavy floods in Bombay and the entire town under waters for one or more days.

I am going back to 1967, when the Bombay Postmen were compelled to go on “Remain Indoor” agitation to get umbrellas supplied for going out on duty during rainy season.

As per departmental rules, Postmen are supplied umbrellas. But before the rainy season in 1967, the department failed to supply the same. It was said that because of a typing mistake in the order, instead of 4750 umbrellas required only 475 were procured. The monsoon rains started in June and no umbrella for Postmen. There was a monsoon fury on 21st June 1967 and the Postmen remained indoors at Kalbadevi, Byculla etc. The Postmen Union demanded for the immediate supply of umbrellas, but the administration remained casual. The Union called for “Remain Indoor” agitation till umbrellas are supplied.

A massive demonstration was organised by the Postal workers on 27th June 1967 which went to the PMG and gave notice that the “Remain Indoor” agitation will start from next day. Nothing happened. On 28th, not a single Postman in Bombay went out for duty, but  remained inside the Post Offices. The administration arose from its slumber. By evening all the Postmen were provided with umbrellas and the agitation came to an end with a big victory. The local agitation was fully successful.

Such local agitations were organised in many places for getting rules implemented and benefits extended. It was part of the policy of NFPTE to compel the administration to get favourable orders implemented at local levels. The struggles brought out many active young comrades to the fore.