It's truly the end of an era: the time of the telegram will come to a close this coming month, with the world's last missive in the medium to be sent from India on July 14.Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), India's state-owned telecom firm, is shutting down its telegram service as it is no longer practical, Business Insider reported.
"We were incurring losses of over $23 million a year because SMS and smartphones have rendered this service redundant," it quoted Shamim Akhtar, general manager of BSNL's telegraph services, as saying.
The report said the July 14 message will come 144 years after Samuel Morse sent the first telegram in Washington.
But it also comes seven years after Western Union shut down its services in the United States.
The telegraph first came to India through British doctor William O'Shaughnessy, who used a different code for the first time in 1850 to send a message.
During its heyday, the telegram—locally known as "taar" or wire—was likened to an urgent message, bypassing the delays of the post.
Business Insider said the telegram peaked in India in 1985, with 60 million telegrams sent and received a year from 45,000 offices.
"Today, only 75 offices exist, though they are located in each of India's 671 districts through franchises. And an industry that once employed 12,500 people, today has only 998 workers," it said.
— TJD, GMA News