Once the ubiquitous postman, whose uniform was changed from 'khaki' to blue to give him a corporate look, has been longing to go back to his original dress code. In fact, after the switch from 'khaki' uniform with a matching 'Netaji' cap, postmen feel that they had lost their 'friendly' image and wish to regain the image a 'dakiya' (popular name in Hindi for postman) through the 'khaki.'
There are 3,129 postmen in Madhya Pradesh who would now don back the khaki with the new India Post red logo. The team includes 119 women who would be supplied with khaki sarees replacing the existing blue ones. For men, the reverted khaki uniform, however, would not have the old Netaji cap.
It was in 2004 when the Union government changed the uniform of postmen from khaki to sky-blue shirts and deep-blue trousers. For women, the sky-blue sarees has a dark-blue border. The department of post personnel had been long demanding reverting the dress code.
"The blue uniform had not only nudged us out of market, but even made us look strangers," said president of postal employees association Prahlad Jaiswal, who has been spear-heading the fight to win back the almost lost-craze for the postman. "A crucial meeting on 'khaki uniform' with senior officials of the Madhya Pradesh circle will be held on September 13 at Bhopal, and we have been asking the Union government to reconsider our demand of going back to khaki," he said.
"The change from khaki to blue aimed to give a corporate touch from the drab-sounding and dull-looking khaki. However, no one realized that the change in uniform will make the postmen invisible," said the secretary of the association, Raju Yadav.
"The khaki uniform had given us the look of a government employee and made us look something different from run of the mill. Look at the uniform of forest officials and policemen, they are still the same and make them stand out from the rest of security agencies and other uniforms worn by the government employees," said Yadav.
"The decision to return back to khaki has already been taken," said a senior official of the postal department preferring anonymity. "It is a matter of time when postmen would be distributed the khaki uniform," he said.