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Speed post mars job prospect
- Authorities admit lapses on part of delivery peon

Kalimpong, Dec. 10: The postal department’s approach to work may well have robbed a young woman of her job.

Swapna Lama, a resident of Upper Gumbahatta here, could not sit for the second part of the examination for recruitment to the post of lower division clerk (LDC) in the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), thanks to the local post office which delivered her call letter five days after the examination date.

The speed post letter posted from Calcutta on November 21 reached the Kalimpong post office on November 24, but was delivered to Lama only on December 7. The peon on the route had gone to Lama’s place on November 24 itself, but not finding anyone at home, returned without delivering the mail. The LDC Part II examination was slated for December 2.

“The rules clearly say that the postal officials must go to the mailing address for seven consecutive days, and only on not finding the addressee on all seven days can they return the mail to the sender. But, in my case, not only did the postman make a solitary trip to my house, but the postal officials also failed to return the letter to the sender after seven days,” said Lama, who teaches at the local Kendriya Vidyalaya.

She has now approached the Kalimpong Consumer Association (KCA), requesting it to take up her case against the postal department.

“The opportunity to secure a job in the ESIC has gone, at least for now, but I don’t want other people to suffer my fate,” Lama said.

Prafulla Rao, KCA secretary, however, felt that many more people would continue to suffer in the hands of callous postal officials until they become more professional. “Some time ago, another girl could not attend an interview with Air India under similar circumstances,” he said.

The local postal office, on its part, has owned up responsibility in the Lama case. In a written submission, the sub-postmaster of Kalimpong post office, Mani Kumar Chettri, has admitted negligence on the part of the postman.

Chettri has also appealed to ESIC authorities to consider Lama’s case as a special one and give her a second chance.

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