WITH RARE and unique stamp collections of over 40 philatelists on display at the head post office, the two-day annual Ludhiana Philately Exhibition — LUPEX-2017 — kicked off on Monday. However, the response was poor, with hardly any visitors or new philatelists in site. The veteran philatelists blamed it on declining craze among youth for stamps and philately as a hobby. The only silver lining was the good response from the buyers for the special stamp released to commemorate the 350th birth anniversary celebration of Guru Gobind Singh.
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“There was a huge demand for this stamp costing Rs 10. It has the picture of Sri Patna Sahib Gurdwara. We have already sold 60 sheets of these stamps and 600 miniature cards we had in stock. More customers and collectors are demanding this stamp,” said Gurbaksh Kaur, postal assistant.
Narinder Pal Singh, joint secretary of Ludhiana Philately Club, whose rare collection of British era showcasing postcards used by people then to advertise their businesses was on display for the first time, said, “With each passing year, turnout is dwindling. People, especially youths, have no interest now in small pieces of paper called stamps. I think it is because youths are more into Internet now. No one is interested in historical stamps.”
One such rare postcard from Narinder’s collection had a person from Ajmer advertising best quality afeem (opium) drug. “Drugs is a big issue now. But this pre-Independence postcard from Ajmer is a rare one advertising best quality opium drug of Rajasthan. It is of 1830s,” he said.
Even as the collections of 40 philatelists were on display, only five of them were presided over at the exhibition. “This itself shows the declining craze for stamps even among philatelists. Every year, same collections are being put on display as new ones are not being created,” he added.
The other unique collections included that of princely states during British era (Patiala, Faridkot, Nabha, etc), and those in memory of astronaut Kalpana Chawla released in 2003 in Ludhiana, gold-plated stamps of lions and rhinos in animal category and sainthood of Mother Teresa. A special corner was also dedicated for My Stamp where visitors can get personalised stamps with their