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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Philately losing its charm to modern media

                  CHANDIGARH: With the transformations in communication media, postal letters have gone out of sight, and so have the stamps.
"Philately was once the most popular hobby, but today it is only the old people who keep this disappearing hobby alive as the new generation is busy with its mails and SMSs," said city based philatelist V K Sharma, a retired assistant general manager from SBI, who has been collecting stamps and cover letters for over 50 years.
A recent exhibition put up by city philatelists at General Post Office (GPO) building in sector 17 explained what Sharma said. Only two out of the 16 philatelists participating in the exhibition were children while the rest were mostly above the age of 60. The eldest of the proud collectors was in his 80s.
Rakesh Walia, joint secretary cum public relation officer of Chandigarh Philatelist Club said, "Many people visited the exhibition but only a few children turned up. This is so because they are not interested in buying and gathering stamps. It will interest them only when they are exposed to this hobby.
''Some philatelists work on thematic collections these days like a collection at the exhibition displayed the epic Ramayana through stamps gathered from around the world, Walia added.
The hobby is not just about collecting stamps but also brings along a lot of diverse knowledge.
Deepak Sharma, whose son displayed his collection of stamps at the exhibition, said, "Stamp collection adds to your knowledge practically. My son exhibited his animal and bird collection and he drew a bird on every paper he glued the stamps on. When I inquired, he told me that bird was the state bird of Chandigarh, Indian Grey Hornbill.''                                         A stamp has many lessons behind it and philatelists don't just gather stamps but also the knowledge associated with it, said Deepak.
Philatelists say that reduced usage of postal letters has made it difficult for them to gather stamps and has further degenerated the interest of present generation in the hobby.
"The Indian postal department is itself killing the hobby by encouraging couriers and speed posts. Definitive stamps (regular issues) are used at GPOs and postal department uses its own stamps. People prefer sending a courier instead of using the postal service and for youth email serves the purpose," said one of the philatelists.
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My comment on the article "Philately losing its charm to modern media"' is now displayed on
"Philately is the unique hobby which brings along a diverse knowledge. Both India Post and Philatelists’ Associations should encourage this hobby to educate future India."

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