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Sunday, February 19, 2017

India, Canada to issue joint postage stamp

Department of posts secretary BV Sudhakar (left) with Deepak Chopra, head of Canada Post.

This September, the postal departments of India and Canada will issue their first-ever joint postage stamps. An announcement to this effect was made after a meeting between department of posts secretary BV Sudhakar and Canada Post president Deepak Chopra, who is a Canadian of Indian descent.

These stamps will be in celebration of Diwali and of Canada’s 150th anniversary, according to a statement released by Canada Post. Chopra said that “not only will it represent our country’s proud diversity, it will celebrate the close bond between both countries.”

“Issuing a joint stamp celebrating Diwali is a meaningful way to recognise the importance of this relationship to both countries,” Sudhakar added.

Both India and Canada will design a stamp each, and both stamps will be released simultaneously. Canada Post director of stamp services Jim Phillips said both versions of the stamps will be available in both nations. Phillips said they plan to release the stamps around a month ahead of Diwali so that it allows people enough “time to hear about them, buy them and use them”.

These stamps will be for general circulation and will be valid for a decade.

 While the idea of releasing a permanent Diwali stamp in Canada had been “percolating for some time”, Phillips said Canada Post was thrilled to “invite India Post into it in terms of cooperation.”

This is not Canada’s first Diwali stamp — in 2011, two such stamps were issued but those were not for mass circulation and are now no longer available. The stamps out in September, though, “will be, like any other stamp” and will become a permanent fixture on Canadian mail.

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