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Sun, 17 Dec 2017

Northeast Today

Revisiting World of Philately

Revisiting World of Philately
November 30
13:51 2017

November Edition, Hobby, NET Bureau, Chirasmrita Devi

That outmoded thumb size piece of paper at the top right of the envelope has been intriguing people since the time of its birth in 1840. In India, however, stamp was born in 1947. The fascination over stamps has given rise to that interesting hobby which came to be known as the ‘King of hobbies and the hobby of kings’-Philately

The term Philately has been derived from the combination of the Greek words ‘philos’ meaning ‘love of’ and ‘ateles’ meaning ‘exemption from tax’. In simple words it’s the collection and study of stamps.

There is no doubt, in fact, these colourful bits of paper are collected because of their worth. Apart for it, what else attract the collectors are the designs, stories that are engraved and the events or people they commemorate. Each stamp reflects a region’s trade, history, flora-fauna, culture and the heritage.

In conversation with Northeast Today, Nandita Chowdhury, Deputy Post Master- I, GPO (Guwahati), who is also the supervisor of the Guwahati GPO Philately Bureau informed that the Philately Bureau of the Guwahati GPO is the main branch in Assam, catering the requirements of many philatelist and stamp enthusiasts.

“Philatelic stamps are different from regular stamps as they are printed only once unlike the regular ones and hence their value increases in the long run. After the stamps are supplied to the main bureau, they are transported to every head office. After a period of six months from the time of their release, if any stamps remain unsold, we sell them at the counters,” she said. She further informed that enthusiasts and collectors can open a Philatelic Deposit Account (PD) which can be useful for children and students.

“I have opened one for my elder daughter, so whenever she receives a stamp she becomes very excited. It’s a good way of teaching young children as the stamps are released under different themes,” she concluded.

“Legacy of letters has died with the advent of internet and social media. The younger generation is not aware of that thumb size paper. To spread awareness India introduced My Stamp in 2011. Through this scheme, one can personalisethe postal stamp according to their choice and preferences. Be it your own photo or the pictures/logos of your institution, organization or heritage buildings- a personalized thumbnail photograph of the image can be achieved through My Stamp. We are also visiting schools to spread more awareness,” informed Surnika Gogoi, PA at Philatelic Bureau.

From a Philatelist’s Pen

Speaking to Northeast Today about philately as a hobby, treasurer of Guwahati Philatelic Society Vishal Sanganeria said, “If taken seriously, philately can be absorbing, informative as well as expensive. Roots of this ‘King of Hobbies’, date back to the times when letters were in reign. Children and even adults used to take out the stamps from the envelopes and keep it in their stock books. Most of them started off like this. However, keeping the stamps in a stock book is not philately. There lies a lot of research and study on the stamps which can even take one to state, national and International level championships. On a personal level, it can be a break of relief in your mundane routine.”

“In India, Northeast related stamps are comparatively less in number. The latest among them are the four stamps on Caves of Meghalaya that have been released in August 15, 2017,” he further added.

“For new designs, time and again painting and art contests are held all over India where the winners’ designs are picked and released as a stamp. Moreover, in September 2017, India and Belarus issued a joint stamp issue to commemorate 25 Years of diplomatic relations between both the countries. Similar events and programmes have been keeping us motivated as philatelists and paving the path for many others to follow,” added Sanganeria.

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