This man delivers posts from India to China no matter what happens between the two countries.
It is rare, to even hear about letters in the times of digital communication. But Bhim Bahadur Tamang, a 61-year old man from Sikkim, is a postman who delivers letters even today from India to China every Thursday. Legally.
In 1992, India and China signed an agreement that permitted the exchange of mail through the Nathu La Border Post in Sikkim. Tamang, making his way to lots of snow, delivers letters at 14,140 feet! His Chinese counterpart does the same and since they both do not understand each other’s languages, they do not communicate.
What is the most remarkable fact about this mail exchange is that it never stops. Even if the conditions between China and India are bad, the mail delivery continues.
Tamang lives in east Sikkim’s Sherathang village, about 7 km from the border. Every Thursday, he treks up to the border post in weather conditions that are around -20 degress in winter. Mails for Tibet are directed to the India Post’s Siliguri office, from where the letters are sent to the army’s 77 Field post office.
The Nathu La pass located at 14,140 ft forms a part of the ancient Silk Route. Nathu La, are Tibetan words that translate into ‘listening ears’ and ‘pass’. Nathu La is one of the three open trading border posts between China and India; the others are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh (or Lipulech) at the trisection point of Uttarakhand–India, Nepal and China.*
It is also one of the four officially agreed upon BPM (Border Personnel Meeting) points between the Indian Army and People’s Liberation Army of China for regular consultations and interactions between the two armies, which helps in defusing stand-offs, directly contributing in maintaining peace.
*As per Zee News article dated July 6, 2006.