Danish, 22, was introduced to online shopping by his college friend in Srinagar in 2012 when he placed an order for a book on his home address in Kupwara. The book reached to his home via postal services in three days.
Over the years, Danish became an online shopaholic, “because of better rates and more choices”. Apart from books, he uses e-commerce to buy other stuff like clothes and electronic gadgets, too. However, apart from books, unfortunately no other item is delivered to his home district.
“I get them delivered to my Srinagar address,” says Danish. Like Danish there are thousands in Kupwara who face this inconvenience just because of unavailability of courier services in the district.
Some of them who don’t have a contact in places where courier services are available do not shop online despite searching in on e-commerce websites. “We feel bad when we see so many choices on these e-commerce portals along with the line; can’t be delivered to this address,” says Tariq Ahmad of Kralpora.
This has been the wish of people of Kupwara especially youth that they get better connected with the ever changing world. “Though postal services have helped in bridging the gap, there is still a lot to be done,” argues Danish.
People here believe that there is huge business scope for the courier service providers but “they seem uninterested” to look into it.
Suhail Ahmad Shah, a computer science post graduate says, “I approached a couple of courier service providers to open their franchise here but they showed cold shoulder.”
He thinks that courier service providers haven’t researched about the potential of place, “they just make conclusions based on heresy”.
Shah feels that youth of Kupwara are very much aware of modern trends but due to unavailability of better service, sense of belonging to the age is lost. “The only way to restore the sense is by bringing services closer to door.”
Notably, District Kupwara received the best digital India award in the state and “the credit partly goes to people of the district for accepting the digital services”.