Stamp of Approval

  • Shilpy Arora
  • India
  • Mar 02, 2012



Parindey – 2012, the 3rd State level philatelic exhibition, was held at Apparel House. Over 400 children from 15 schools participated. There were 200 displays, and thousands of stamps. A unique “My Stamp” counter offered participants an opportunity to get their own pictures printed as a stamp (with a picture chosen from a template). There also was a Philately Souvenir Counter. 

A workshop on philately – the art of stamp collecting – was also held; as also a ‘Design a Stamp Contest’, for children.

Special covers, based on historic places of Haryana, were released.

In a City that is ruled by iPhones and Blackberrys, the Haryana Postal Department has got the young generation interested in the so-called ‘snail mail’. Twelve-year old Aveesha, was quite elated at getting her own picture stamped on a stamp. “When I heard about the concept, wherein one can have his/her own photo printed on a stamp, I just couldn’t resist coming here. Now, I will put these stamps on postcards, and send it to my friends,” said Aveesha.

For children, this “My Stamp” counter was the major centre of attraction – as it offered personalised stamps, that can be used for postal charges on mail items. A set of 12 such stamps were priced at Rs. 300. “We have received an overwhelming response in Gurgaon, especially from children. We sold almost 200 stamps on the first day,” said one of the stamp sellers.

However, it was childhood passion that brought a Chandigarh-based philatelist, Rajeev Walia to the exhibition. “Stamps are reminders of the past. They tell us everything - history, culture, and the integrity of the world. One just needs to have the passion for philately,” he pointed out.

A rare treat

Rarities were galore – and ranged from a rare stamp that shows Mahatma Gandhi carrying a gun, to the informative postcards revealing the diet of peacock, and history of football.

The peacock section was a big draw, with stamps showing the importance of peacocks in Christianity. “It is a well-balanced and detailed presentation, demonstrating various types of peacock, their diet, thier importance in countries other than India, and much more,” said Dhananjay Desai, one of the jury members. His team will announce the winning exhibits on Thursday.

Other attractions of the show were special sections that had stamps of the pre-independence era – like Pakistani stamps having the impression of King George, and US stamps displaying the Indian submarine – Tarangini.

Fostering a dying hobby

“Once considered an admirable hobby, philately unfortunately is not attracting youngsters any more. I hope such exhibitions will change the mindset of the youth and help revive the dying hobby of philately” said a 77-year old philatelist, Arvind Rai C. Shah. He has collected almost any stamp that came his way, since the age of six.

Looking at his collection with pride, Arvind showed us some interesting stamps having the imprints of Madhubala and Guru Dutt. He, however, expressed his disappointment over the lack of interest in today’s world for philately. “My children don’t know where to use these stamps, as they mostly use the Internet to send messages. They are not aware that my collection is worth Rs. 25 lakh.

This exhibition has provided me an opportunity to put my collection in front of the world.”

Future of philately

For a philatelist, the proudest of moments is when he/she takes his/her collection to the international level. A Delhi-based philatelist Vinod Sabharwal, revealed that international philately organisations, like the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie, gives medals depending on the rarity of the collection, and the ability of the philatelist to supplement his/her display with historical detail.

As the Indian representation is constantly going down at the international level, it is extremely important to educate kids about philately. When asked about the plans of the Haryana Postal Department to have more such exhibitions in Gurgaon, Assistant Superintendent, S K Bharadwaj said, “Not in the near future. But we surely will plan something, particularly after the success of this show”. Some professionals also feel that, apart from stamp exhibitions, schools should encourage the hobby of philately among children – as it can improve their understanding of history and culture.


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