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Monday, September 11, 2017

Taking philately to‘gadget-addicted’ school children

Coimbatore: The Philately Coimbatore celebrated its 150th monthly meeting in the city on Sunday.

More than 50 members took part in the technical sessions held as part of the celebrations. Postmaster general Sharada Sampath emphasised on spreading awareness about the hobby among the 'gadget-addicted' children. "We are planning various activities to ensure that children take up the hobby. Several schools have already formed clubs and the postal department will support them," she said.

The group was formed in 1972 but became active only in 2003. More than 80 members are now part of it. 

The exhibit on 'waterfalls' which included various stamps, post cards, air mails, signed envelopes and stamp sheets depicting rare and unknown facts of various waterfalls in the world was a knowledge trip.

The first ever known waterfall post card was also a part of the collection that had won an award at the national level. Senior philatelist Dr S B Viswaroop spoke about the various aspects of philately such as definitive stamps. 

"We rarely look at stamps. We only focus on collecting. Sometimes, very rare stamps will be right in front of our eyes with small flaws. I have conducted a study on the 10th series of definitive stamps on constant flaws," he said.

He said a philatelist should look beyond stamps and study them. "More than monetary gains, one should look at the pleasure, discipline and observation skills that the hobby brings," he said. Senior philatelist KalyanKumar explained about the rare stamps in the world and how to look for them.

Secretary of the Philately Coimbatore Jai Parameswaran said that he had been pursuing the hobby for more than 22 years. "Anyone can become a stamp collector. But our club ensures that from being a mere collector, we transform them into a philatelist and then turn them into an exhibitor," he said, adding that this hobby cannot be forced on people. 

"One has to be passionate and have the hunger to learn. Nearly, eight new members join us every year and most of them are in their thirties," he said.

The philatelists had a lot of fun as they played quizzes and auctioned their stamps. 

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