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Tea, condoms at post offices

Ranchi, June 2: Apart from stamps and inland covers, post offices in the state will now also be selling Assam tea, sanitary napkins, and reproductive and children's health products.

The announcement comes after the department's attempt to sell Corangini Tea through select post offices received a 'tremendous response'.

The director of postal services of Jharkhand, Anil Kumar, said they had taken the delivery of 300 kg of the tea and it 'sold like hot cakes' in Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Chaibasa and Daltonganj.

'The teas is reasonably priced. It costs Rs 50 for a 250-gm packet. Postal employees bought all the packets before it could be sold to the public,' he said.

This response has furthered the department's plans to sell tea at post offices across the state. Condoms, sanitary napkins and children's health products will also be available at postal outlets.

The department has tied up with Hindustan Latex Limited to sell these products. But prior to selling such items, said Kumar, they have launched an awareness drive across the state.

'We have launched an awareness drive, on trial basis, at 15 places. Thirty (postal) employees were given special training for this drive,' he said.

The department has distributed 125 kits, each containing condoms, sanitary napkins, contraceptive pills, vitamin B tablets, iodised salt, iron tablets, ORS, nutrient foods and supplements to its marketing executives and public relations inspectors. 'These people have been asked to visit various rural areas to spread awareness about such products,' said the director of postal services.

Health products will mostly be available alongside stamps and postal covers by the end of this month. At least one post office in each district will sell these products.

Kumar added that post offices and postmen would be sued to sell these products. 'We have decided to give them half of the 30 per cent commission that we get from selling these products.'

The director denied such additional profiles would hamper the primary responsibility of the post offices.

Hindustan Latex representative for Bihar and Jharkhand, Sanjeev Jha, said the company could use the 'wide network of the post and telegraph department' to increase the reach of rural health care products in the state.

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