Leaving a stamp on society

Leaving a stamp on society

Ardent: The members of the Karnataka Philatelic Society.

These are the members of the Karnataka Philatelic Society (KPS), who meet often and exchange views, information and of course, stamps! Started by the late Colonel L G Shenoy in 1976,  the KPS has over 500 members today.

Says Ramu Srinivas, a member of the club since 1986, “The KPS acts as a platform for philately in Karnataka especially Bangalore.” Extremely passionate about philately ever since he was eight years of age, Ramu has even dedicated the ground floor of his house completely to his hobby. “It used to be a commercial space,” he informs. “But I got it vacated so that I can have space for my collections of stamps and books on philately.”

Ramu also has equipment to help him read his stamps better, like an LCD projector, and a microscope with a built-in camera. Penny Black, the first stamp in history is in his proud possession as well.

A former president of the KPS, Dr R G Sangoram has an excellent collection too. “I have collections on themes like Introduction to Astronomy, Solar System, Space, Man On The Moon and Noble Laureates from 1901 to name a few,” he says. Like some of the other members, Sangoram is actively involved in taking philately to schools. “We introduce children to philately, and teach them how to read arrange, read and exhibit a stamp collection.” He feels, “The subject of philately is such that once you get into it, you get all the more engrossed.”

The current president of the Society, Jambulingam feels that philately has become more of an investment these days. “I have conducted workshops where I have spoken on philately as an investment,” he informs. At present, he is keenly collecting and studying the lithograph of 1/2 Anna, a stamp brought out by the East India Company. “I want to know the places that it has travelled to since 1854, from the time it was introduced.” Besides, he has a collection on Butterflies, Music and Dance, Crawling Creatures and Post Independent India to name a few.  

However, the members feel that philately is a vanishing hobby. “Unfortunately in India, children are told to give importance only to academics,” says Sangoram. “Like dance, music or drama, philately doesn’t have scope on stage as well,” he adds. “So all we look out for is merely an opportunity to exhibit our collection.” But Ramu feels that as long as the members of the KPS are there, the hobby will be alive. “We have one of the best collections in the world,” he says.

Speaking about Dr Sita Bhateja, who has even been nominated for the Grand Prix Award, the highest honour in philately, Ramu says, “She owns the ceiling wax form of Scinde Dawk, which was the first Asian stamp depicting the Sindh province. The stamp was also introduced in white and blue forms.” He informs that this ceiling wax form of Scinde Dawk costs Rs 40 lakh, due to its fragility and rarity.

The members meet on the first and third Sunday of every month at the Bangalore GPO between 10.30 am and 12 pm. “On the first Sunday, we have talks by different philatelists, who speak about their collection, and the different aspects of philately. And auctions are held on the third Sunday,” says Ramu.

    Anyone with a passion for philately can join the members during their meetings to learn more.

   “We also have an annual membership of Rs 15 for juniors, and a lifetime membership of Rs 1,000,” he adds.

For details, email the members on karnataka-philatelic-society@yahoogroups.co.in

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