Pictorial look into other cultures

Pictorial look into other cultures

hobby A stamp collector.

Located in the deep recesses of the imposing edifice that is the General Post Office, and virtually hidden from public view, the Philatelic Museum is quite a fascinating spot, not just for seasoned stamp collectors but for first-time visitors as well.

In fact, the Museum is a part of an active philately section in the GPO and an interactive hub of information and resources for avid stamp collectors in the City who are in the know. “We want people to realise that collecting stamps is cool! Our live membership base is around 5,500 strong and growing,” says Manjula, the enthusiastic philatelic counsellor, who guides and interacts with philatelists from different walks of life.

What’s so great about stamp collecting, especially in this day of virtual communication one may ask?  

“These self-adhesive paper cut-outs are almost little pieces of art and can give you information about  historical events, places and people. Stamps are a pictorial look into other cultures and stamp collecting is a joyful hobby that can also become a highly lucrative one,” she explains.

A whole range of rare and valuable stamps from pre-independence to recent times is housed in the Philatelic museum and the staff there are also in the process of updating the attached library. Stamp collectors, who want to keep up with the latest stamp releases, can open a Philatelic deposit account at the GPO with a nominal sum of Rs 200. As and when new stamps are released, they are sent to the account holder’s address.

“All they need to do is recharge their accounts when necessary.They can receive upto 110 deliveries each year from commemorative stamps to special postal covers,” explains Manjula whose two teenage children are also passionate philatelists.

In order to raise awareness on the benefits of stamp-collecting, she also conducts workshops in schools and summer camps for people of all ages.

“Stamps are miniature icons and mementos of major national events and achievements. Collecting them can become quite addictive and they always provide a wealth of information, from the history of the world to trivia and human interest stories. It has become a lifelong hobby for me, and one that I hope will pass down for generations in my family,” says Abhishek Shah, a long-time collector.

“Philately is a hobby that is accessible to everyone and it is also very easy and inexpensive to start a stamp collection. One gets to network with other collectors, learn a great deal in the process and eventually turn a great hobby into a profitable one,” she enthuses.

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