Fifty-four years ago, a photograph of an eight-year-old boy eating a banana was chosen by Jawaharlal Nehru to be put on a postage stamp. Shekhar Borker, the boy in the stamp, now a 62-year-old, wants to dedicate his life to promote Indian philately.
Borker, who retired from Indian Aluminium Company in 2009, was invited by the India Post to address hundreds of school children at the World Philatelic Exhibition 2011 on Monday.
“I will be happy to be India Post’s ambassador to promote philately amongst children,” he said.
“He proposed to get associated with us as an ambassador for philately promotion among the children. We welcome him as an ambassador to promote philately,” said Subhash Barmma, general manager, World Philatelic Exhibition 2011.
“Philately is a cost-effective but extremely useful hobby through which one can easily learn about history, geography, scientific invention, art and culture,” he said.
A philatelist himself, Borker’s pride and joy is an album of stamps featuring him that have been signed by Nehru and Indira Gandhi. “This album is my prized possession,” he said.
The stamp with Borker on it, priced at 8 naya paisa, was released along with two others on November 14, 1957, to commemorate Children’s Day.
Borker is the only other living person, after Mother Teresa and a Kanpur girl (now in her 70s) Rita Malhotra, who has been featured in India’s postage stamps. The stamp with Borker on it has been featured Court of Honour from three stamps issued together in 1957. India Security Press, Nasik, displayed the stamp at the ‘Court of Honour’ zone at the exhibition.