Special postal covers on coastal Karnataka ecology

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Sindhu B Rupesh releases the special cover on ‘Mattu Gulla’, during ‘Karnapex 2019’ in Mangaluru on Sunday.

The Department of Posts highlighted the significance of the ecological system of coastal Karnataka by releasing three special postal covers on the second day of ‘Karnapex 2019’.

The programme, which was a part of the 12th state-level philatelic exhibition, was held at Dr T M A Pai Convention Centre on Sunday.

The special covers featured ‘Mattu Gulla’ – a variety of brinjal which is grown only in the Mattu village of Udupi district; ‘Shankarapura Mallige’ – a special variety of jasmine from Shankarapura of Udupi; and Euphlyctis Aloysii – a rare frog species of the Western Ghats.

Apart from the postal covers, a booklet containing the stamps in alphabetical order in Kannada and also the permanent postal cancellation depicting Hombuja Kshetra Jain Mutt, an ancient Jain Heritage Centre in Shivamogga, were released on the occasion.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Sindhu B Rupesh suggested that the Postal Department make the postage stamp collection on Kannada letters available to schoolchildren. She also called upon the students to visit ‘Karnapex 2019’ philately exhibition.

Dr S Hareesh Joshy, St Aloysius College former Zoology professor, said that the frog is named after St Aloysius Gonzaga. “Sadly, the habitats of frogs are getting destroyed due to urbanisation and use of chemical fertilisers. Out of the 6,771 frog species in the world, one third is already extinct and 200 are on the verge of extinction. There is an urgent need to save frog habitats”, he stressed.

Prof Joshy and Prof Kumamoto from the University of Japan have researched on frog species, including Euphlyctis Aloysii.

Speaking to DH, Lakshmana Mattu, who is Mattu Gulla Growers’ Association manager, said that there are 160 active members in the Association and cultivate ‘Mattu Gulla’ on 250 acres of land in Mattu village of Katapady, Udupi district. Currently, the brinjal is supplied to Bengaluru, Mumbai and also exported to Qatar. “There are plans to export ‘Mattu Gulla’ to Saudi Arabia. The vegetable has obtained geographical indication (GI) tag,” he added.

Philatelists M K Krishnayya, Dr Prabhakar Rao, S Narayana Rao and M R Pavanje were felicitated on the occasion. Karnataka Circle Chief Post Master General Charles Lobo, Post Master General (Head Quarters), Bengaluru, Col Arvind Verma and Senior Superintendent of Railway Services Sandesh Mahadevappa were present.

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