By Sudhir Jain
India Post had issued set of six stamps on Legendary Heroines of India on 13th February 2011 during INDIPEX-2011. Design of these stamps is not as beautiful as these heroines were. But design is not the subject of this write-up, nor I am discussing about the release function held at Imperial Hotel Delhi on 13th Feb. night in which Philatelists were not permitted to enter.
I am focussing this dscussion on following two issues;
First, availability of this stamp set / Miniature Sheet / First Day Cover. A note is printed on the last page of the Brochure (Folder) of this issue under TECHNICAL DATA read as under ;
Miniature Sheets : 0.3 Million**
* 0.3 million for normal distribution and 0.1 million for Indipex-2011
** 0.2 million for normal distribution and 0.1 million for Indipex-2011
Despite the numbers shown in the technical data sheet,it was very difficult to get these stamps / Miniature Sheets / FDC from the India Post Sale Counters at Indipex-2011 venue. Big lines of the stamp collectors were there for purchasing of these stamps every day and very limited quantity (i.e. maximum 2 M/S. To each person) was sold.
Why? What happened to the above additional stock?
Secondly, the sale of First Day Cover on 14th Feb. morning. India Post sold the FDC of this set at the unbelievable price of Rs. 500/- each. Stamp collectors were shocked but many crazy like me had purchased at this price. First Day Cancellation on this FDC was very poor and not clear. Sale at this rate was going on for 2/3 hours. After that some Philatelists approached Mrs. Kavery Banerjee, Chairperson, World Philatelic Exhibition Secretariat and complained about the extra-ordinary high rate of FDC.Mrs. Benarjee discussed with some of her officials and then instructed to sale the FDC with Folder @ Rs.34/- each. Nothing was clear about refund of balance money to those who had purchased @ Rs. 500/- each. In the evening I heard that at about 12 Noon they had announced about refund of excess money but to whom only those were present at the time of announcement. I had tried for refund of excess money paid by me in the evening but refused at the counter saying that refund was available in the noon time only.