In what could be an ultimate treat for philately enthusiasts, they can now have their personalised stamps.
For the first time in India, stamp lovers got the opportunity to have their own or that of their loved ones' photographs on a real India postal stamp sheet for Rs 150.
Personalised stamp - 'My Stamp' - is one of the most exciting and unique philatelic concepts that has given huge momentum to the World Philatelic Exhibition 2011 exhibition that was inaugurated by the president of India Pratibha Patil on Saturday at Pragati Maidan here. This is the 6th time India is hosting the exhibition. This time, the exhibition is taking place after a gap of 13 years. The exhibition has been attended by over 500 foreign delegates from across 70 countries.
Personalised stamp is unique in India, but this is quite popular in Netherlands. In Netherlands, people interested in getting stamps issued in their names have to send a requisition form and if they manage to fulfill all criteria, a personalised stamp can be easily made available by the government.
The whole idea is to popularise the use of postal stamps and thus encourage habit of letter writing and sending greeting cards in India. "A personalised stamp is a postage stamp, where a photograph can be added to the stamp. One can use the stamp while sending out letters or greetings on special occasions," said Harpreet Singh, director, Indipex 2011. One can make a choice from stamps on zodiac signs, aircrafts, train engines, wildlife, Taj Mahal and Panchatantra for his own personalised stamp.
A 'My Stamp' counter is opened at the venue. One either has to go there with a photograph with or get it clicked there. After sometime, he will be handed over a leaf of 12 stamps with his mug shot printed on them.
But many people had unpleasant experience in the exhibition ground, thanks to mismanagement on the organiser's part. Very few people were at the venue to guide the visitors, which is why many found it difficult to even locate the counter of their choice. People even had to wait for two hours in 'My Stamp' counter to get their photographs clicked. "Stamps were not properly catalogued nor were they placed in sequence. There were very few volunteers at stalls to assist the visitors," said Tanya Roy, a resident of Lajpat Nagar.
"The situation went out of control on Saturday as hundreds of people poured in. From Sunday onwards, we are planning to keep photographs and postal addresses of the ones coming for my stamp and later send them to their respective addresses," said Subhash Barmma, general manager, Indipex, 2011.