India sends its last telegrams as service ends

Indians send last telegrams as 163-year-old fast, reliable communication service closes

Associated Press
Stop ... India sends its last telegram
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An Indian telegraph employee processes a telegram on the last day of the 163-year-old service at the central telegraph office in Mumbai, India, Sunday, July 14, 2013. Sunday night, the state-run telecommunications company will send its final telegram, closing down a service that fast became a relic in an age of email, reliable landlines and ubiquitous cellphones. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

NEW DELHI (AP) -- India's last telegram went out late Sunday, marking the end of a service that provided millions of Indians with a fast and reliable mode of communication.

Hundreds of people thronged the 75 telegraph offices remaining in the country Sunday to send their last telegrams to friends or family as a keepsake.

Shameem Akhtar, a top official in the state-run telecommunications company, said Monday that it had increased staff at all telegram offices to handle the huge rush.

The company says declining revenues had forced the service to close. It had become redundant in an age of email, reliable landlines and ubiquitous cellphones.

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