by November 10, 2000 0 comments

E-mail seems to be the most talked about, fast, andeconomical way of communication these days. But, consider a scenario where youhave access to e-mail, but some of your friends and relatives don’t haveaccess to the Internet yet. Add to that, a situation where your loved ones don’tknow English. Can you still send e-mail to them?

Bharatmail.com–a Website with multi-lingual mail facilitytargeted basically at NRIs–promises to overcome this with its Scan Mail andPostal Mail services. To make use of these services you, as the one with netaccess, need to register with Bharatmail. com. Once this is done, you’ll beassigned a personal letterbox with a login name and can start using itsservices.

With the help of the Scan Mail service, your friends andrelatives in India can send hand-written letters to you through your mailbox atbharatmail. com. For this, all they need to do is post their letters by regularmail to the following address and mention your login name in brackets.

Bharatmail (Neelima) — (For sending mail to Neelima)
# AG3, Shanti Colony, Anna Nagar,

Chennai 600040.

Bharatmail will then scan these hand-written letters ande-mail the scanned image to your mailbox.

Communication is supposed to be two way, right? So, how doyou communicate back?

To reply back to your loved ones, you can make use of thePostal Mail service from your Bharatmail mailbox. This is like regular e-mailbut you need to fill in some additional details, like the postal address, name,etc, of the person you wish to send the letter to. Your
e-mail is automatically sent to Bharatmail, which in turn takes a printout ofyour e-mail and delivers it by post to the respective address in India.

To monitor the progress of your letter, you can make use ofthe Postal Mail Tracking feature from your mailbox. This gives you details likethe date you sent your mail, the date Bharatmail received it, and mailed itforward, etc.

You also have the option of composing your mail in Hindi,Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, or Gujarati. You can switchto English anytime you want. Once you start typing in a regional language, asidebar appears with its alphabets corresponding to the key on your keyboard.This makes it easy to type in your native language, but it still requires sometime to get used to.

The site also claims to offer strict privacy and promises toreturn letters back to the sender if asked for, within a month. However, youhave to enclose a self-addressed envelope with postage along with your letter.

Neelima Vaid in New Delhi

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