What can be the connection between postal stamps and the historic year 1911? The year in which Delhi is celebrating its 100th year as the capital of modern India, it is also going to host INDIPEX 2011, the World Philatelic Exhibition.
Philately is the study of stamps and postal history and other related items. The exhibit is being organised by India Post, Government of India in association with the Philatelic Congress of India. “It’s a happy coincidence,” says Harpreet Singh, director INDIPEX 2011. Another happy coincidence is that, in 1911, for the first time in India, mails were flown by airplane, on February 18 from Allahabad to — five miles away — Naini in Uttar Pradesh.” This is one of the events we are commemorating in our exhibition,” says Singh.
In this week-long exhibition, starting February 12, you will see stamps with a twist. These stamps will be made of khadi cloth, will carry Mahatma Gandhi’s image and will be released during the exhibition. This is a first-of-its-kind thing. So far, India always had stamps made of paper. “Stamps are more than postal denominations,” says Harpreet Singh. “They are of immense value for people who have been collecting them over the years. This time, since this exhibition is happening after 14 years, we planned to do something different. Since other countries have silk stamps, we decided on khadi stamps. And if it is khadi, Gandhi had to be on it.” These stamps will be available during the exhibition as a presentation pack, priced at R250.
“Abroad, there have been metal stamps and cloth stamps. But a cloth stamp is a new and exciting concept here. Mahatma Gandhi as a theme is very thoughtful. This will become very popular once released,” says A.S. Banga, Secretary West Delhi Philatelic Club.
At the exhibition, you can also get personalised stamps with your face on it. The concept called ‘My Stamp’ will just require you to carry a photograph you wish to put on the stamp. And when you have bought your stamps, don’t forget India Post’s 1911 connection.
When: February 12-18
Where: Pragati Maidan