City post office a stamp collector’s dream
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Events, personalities, animals, birds, you name it and they have it. The philatelic bureau at the General Post Office (GPO), Chandigarh, has nearly 4,500 registered philatelists who keep in touch with the bureau for all the new issues of stamps.On average 5-6 people visit each day. They are either beginners or people from out-stations who do not have such bureaus in the post offices of their city.
Punjab has five philatelic bureaus located in Chandigarh, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Patiala and Jalandhar. There are two kinds of stamps internationally, definitive and commemorative. Commemorative stamps are those which are issued once on special occasions and in a limited amount. Their price varies from Rs 2-14 lakh. They are usually issued on the death and birth anniversaries of famous personalities, state and national animals, plants and other special occasions.
In the GPO, there are various commemorative stamps can be bought at their cost price which varies form Rs 5-20. On an average, 50 commemorative stamps are issued every year. A commemorative stamp is multicolored unlike the definitive stamps and are printed only once.
With the release of a new stamp, its special cancellation or rubber stamp mark is also released with it. The cancellation and the stamps reach post offices with their special first day covers and a brochure. The brochure carries the purpose of the stamp and all the technical details like denomination, designer's name, printing process used , number of stamps printed etc. The latest stamp issued was of the India-Africa pact 2011.All the stamps are printed in Nasik and Madhya Pradesh.
Philately has no age bar. In GPO Chandigarh, the youngest member is 13 years old and had registered when he was just 9 yeras of age. The eldest is 81 years of age.
"To become a member of the philatelic association, you just have to open an account. The person interested has to make a minimum deposit of Rs 200 at the philatelic bureau. The bureau sends you all the newly issued stamps as per your interest and requirement by post," said an official at the philatelic bureau. The post office also organises workshops regarding preservation of used and mint condition stamp.
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