After over a decade, National Philatelic Exhibition was held at the Pragati Maidan, under the aegis of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav‘, to bring to the fore the rich culture, heritage, history, nature, wildlife and achievements of India through stamps.
The exhibition showcased special stamps, covers, calligraphy contests, antique coins, foreign currency, quizzes, philatelic ancillaries and many more entertaining activities for the visitors.
“When the Internet and cell phones took over our lives, philately became limited as a charming hobby. With the goal to promote philately as a hobby and to educate the general public with a focus on children and young, about India’s culture, heritage, history and notable figures,” is the tagline of the event.
It was inaugurated by Devusinh Jesing bhai Chauhan – Minister of state for communications and Meenakshi Lekhi – Minister of state for External Affairs and Culture.
During the five days of the event, the entry gate was flooded with long queues comprising a mix of college students cherishing the history and heritage and the elderly taking a trip down memory lane.
The event, which was held at Hall number five of the Pragati maidan, was organised keeping the G-20 summit in mind.
Apart from stamps, the exhibition enthralled its audience with the performances of Shujaat Hussain Khan and Piyush Mishra. There were also a panel discussion on youth and women empowerment, and a Kavi Sammelan.
The main attraction after the entry at the fare was A wooden Charkha digitally connected to a tv screen that displayed the history and stories related to the wheel on every spin.
At the event, a man in his fifties passionately showcased his collection of stamps to school students, who watched with great enthusiasm.
“This information is very useful for the younger generation. They should know our history, and not just the youngsters, everyone should know about these stamps,” Avinash Mittal, who had traveled all the way from Surat, said.
“I’ve been collecting stamps for the last 32 years and have been part of numerous exhibitions. I’m glad that the event in Delhi came back after a gap of 12 years and when I heard the news I thought no one’s gonna visit but after seeing the turnout I was happily surprised. I have stamps as old as pre-independence,” he said.
“The engagement of the youth is something that came as a surprise to me but after what I’ve witnessed one can say next year’s gonna be bigger,” Mittal concluded.
The stamps, currencies and letters notes were priced a bit at a higher side but that did not affect the demand or the mood of the exhibition. Everyone present there seemed to cherish the moment.
To keep children engaged, there was a quiz contest with Indian postal service as the theme. After every right answer, there was a gift hamper.
“The event’s really great. I didn’t expect such good arrangements, especially for the children. I want my daughter to know our history and the importance of communication without gadgets and the event organisers have done exactly that. They’ve managed to make it more fun and interactive,” Supreet Kaur, who was present at the exhibition with her seven-year-old daughter, said.
Not just the traditional stamps, the event also had a virtual corner filled with customers. The virtual guide narrated the journey of Indian post service throughout the years along with books and magazines giving a brief overview of the virtual tours.
“It remains an overall good experience, with a decent amount of stamp dealers, a very good postal history dealer, and various others, including postcard sellers,” Kartik, 24, who attended the exhibition with his friends, told Patriot.
Buyers had plenty of space to move around. Basic food was available, but there were few options.
Several workshops, panel discussions and cultural programs were also performed to cater to different tastes