Smt Radhika Doraiswamy, Secretary, Department of Posts inaugurated National Philatelic Museum at New Delhi on 11th July 2011. The museum attempts to showcase the great Indian panorama as presented through its postage stamps.Our special correspondent Abhishek Jalan visited the museum and found it very useful and informative___
Reception area itself is enough to cast a spell whether it’s a philatelists or a new comer. The museum ‘kinds of its own completely dedicated to stamps’ never have been seen before. It is completely air conditioned, lit by bright lamps which gives a vivid atmosphere to the area. On the side wall can be seen a golden board displaying “National Philatelic Museum inaugurated by Ms. Radhika Doraiswal, Secretary, Department of Posts 11th July 2011”. The reception area has a beautiful artificial garden in the rear. Two personnel in matching uniform can be seen on the reception counter giving details about the whole place.
The Early Resistance and Armed Uprisings: After the decisive battle of Plassey, the East India Company continued to increase its domain till the major part of Indian Sub-continent cane under its sway either directly or through subsidiary rulers. Through out the rule, there was resistance varying in degrees with uprisings almost all over the land. The revolts were spontaneous from almost all sections of people who rose against the rule of the East India Company. This bay covers a section with the stamps dedicated to the Freedom Fighters.
Stamps from 1947 to 1987 can also be seen in an arranged manner year wise. A block of four of each stamp is displayed along with additional information about these stamps. Walls have been covered with large display of Mahatma Gandhi and stamps issued related to him. Some themes were, Gandhi: The Father of the Nation, Man of the Millennium, Apostle of Peace and Non violence, Satyagraha: The Stirrings.
A section is reserved for 100 years of airmail. A stamp, First Day Cover and Miniature Sheet is being displayed in this column. First Day Cover autographed by pilots is also on the display along with additional information about the first flight which took off from Allahabad. A miniature of the plane which carried the first air mail is also a piece of attraction.
All the exhibitions either national or international have been recalled to two frames dedicated to them. The stamps displayed brings alive a live rainbow in front of us and reminds us of our past exhibitions.
The Bay Two is based on Thematic Collections. Themes such as Transportation\’s, Science and Technology, Paintings, Costumes & Textiles, Dance and Music, Nature with Flowers, Plants, Birds and Wildlife. Environment Conservation has been given a major aspect with a section of the Bay converted in a Wildlife Park. Artificial plants and animals have been used to give a forest like appearance. The Sky dotted with stars give a different feeling of the place. You can even echo your voice in that place. Frames are filled with nature related stamps and they mingle easily with the atmosphere. A lot of knowledge ca be gained by visiting these themes based frames.
A better approach towards young philatelists cannot be seen anywhere else. A whole section dedicated to the kids is a rare site. Since 1957, India Post has brought out numerous stamps on 14th Nov to mark Children’s Day. All the stamps to date can be seen on the frames. Walls have been covered with large portrait of stamps to make them more attractive. An old fashion weighting machine occupies the centre stage. A workshop with projectors and a seating arrangement for hundred can be seen. It shows the involvement of India Post with Young Philatelists which is a milestone achieved and will further cure the loss of money to dealers. There is also a library with books related to stamps and anything associated with stamps. Large spacious reading room with chairs is available to enhance the facilities available for the Philatelists.
Souvenir Shop comprises of goodies sold in the Indipex 2011. Coffee mugs, Paintings, Bags and Wall Clocks with images of stamps on them. People who didn’t get a chance to buy these amazing items can buy it from here. Individual books with details about stamps related to different themes can be seen here. An informative way to let people choose their own theme and get to know which stamps to acquire. New hand painted clay images were also up for sale received from Tamil Nadu Circle. Certain books such as “1857 First War of Independence” and ”Nature through Postage Stamps” were a delight to read. The pages were colorful and informative.
On the opposite side of the souvenir shop, different frames from different categories were kept. Frames on First Day Covers issued by Army Postal Services were displayed. Foreign stamps from various countries and types of stamps as Seed Stamp, Silk Stamp & Lenticular stamps issued by Cartor Country were put on display. A frame was dedicated to the works of ‘Sankha Samanta’ designer of much famed “Gandhi Khadi Stamp”. How a stamp is designed and the steps involved in its making are shown. The walls are covered of hand painted wooden tiles on Jayadeva and Geetagovinda, 150 years of India Post and many more.
The only thing which I couldn’t find there was no stamps were available for sale. Being in a philatelic museum and no stamps were available for sale was a bit ridicules but I was assured that such thing would be facilitated soon as the renovation work is still not completed and many more new things will be seen. The person in charge of souvenir shop was none other than Nenu Gupta- The Famous Stamp Designer and she was very helpful in providing me with details regarding the National Philatelic Museum.