The world of postal stamps is mesmerizing in itself.It is an altogether different experience at the Pragati Maidan,New Delhi where the International philately event, The 6th World Philatelic Exhibition,INDIPEX 2011 is running in to its fifth day. Philatelists, exhibitors, and enthusiasts from many countries are participating in the event. If you wish to have a feeling of the attraction of postal stamps, their beauty and coverage of themes across the human mind, just visit the event for a few hours at least!
Here are some of the exemplary contributions that could be of your interest;
Sandeep Jaiswal from the United States was once a collector and now an exhibitor is here with his proud collection of more than 3,000 stamps from across the globe. The stall by India Post, known as Indian Feudatory Statexs, has stamps and postal stationery on sale. “The collection includes stamps from India under the BritishRaj, stamps by the East India Company and even the rarest-of-rare Queen Elizabeth stamps,” says Jaiswal.
The Korea Philately counter at the INDIPEX2011 is among the main attraction for children who are flocking to buy 3D Mahatma Gandhi stamps. “We did not expect such a response from the visitors, especially children. This is just the first day and we have already sold almost 200 stamps,” said Pyo Hyok Chol, Korean exhibitor. The stamps are priced at Rs 40 each.
The Malaysia Post counter is another big draw, particularly for its stamps on Indian festivals — Eid and Deepawali, which are celebrated in this Southeast Asian country. “Indian festival stamps are selling like hot cakes and it is likely that we will run out of stocks in a day,” said Haidan Abdul Rahman.
A Singapore based Indian origin businessman is here at INDIPEX2011 with showcasing his rare collection of Chinese zodiac stamps that were arranged in the chronological sequence to depict the significance of the order.
The stamps are priced at Rs 1,600 each.
“Stamp collecting used to be everyone’s hobby,” says Banerjee, Indipex 2011’s chairperson. “Almost all of us had letters coming home, and we encountered them in our daily lives.” The rise of the courier service and email has led to a marked decline in personal mail over the last decade, she says, and the hobby has moved to the fringes. Banerjee reckons that India’s practitioners are “mostly elderly”. Prem Chand Jaiswal, the Kolkata-based president of the All-India Philatelic Traders’ Association, agrees. “Most people either take it (philately) up when in school, up to class VIII, or after their 40s, when they have the time and money to invest,” he says.
But a new generation of collectors are rediscovering the philatelic urge, and beginning to archive the staggering quantity of Indian postal history. “Indian stamps are highly valued internationally,” Banerjee says. “A lot of thought goes into an India stamp. They’re representative of the history and consciousness of this country.” She remembers how, in 1994, when India Post introduced a sandalwood-scented stamp, they locked it up in a cupboard for a year before launch to make sure the scent didn’t fade.