High-tech, high speed communication may have elbowed out the more leisurely charms of writing and posting a letter after affixing a stamp. But philately enthusiasts are keen to prevent the hobby from dying out.
To create awareness among youngsters about the delights of stamp collecting, the South India Philatelists’ Association (SIPA) will release a book about philately at the Chennai Book Fair, which opens on June 1, and special postal covers featuring six renowned Tamil writers.
G Balakrishna Das, president of the Association, said that the book was being published not only as part of the book fair but also to commemorate SIPA’s diamond jubilee year – the association was formed way back in 1956. “The 32 page book, which is in colour, will be released during the book fair. This is the first time that we are publishing a book to help beginners understand what philately is and to attract more children and youngsters to the hobby,” he said.
Pointing out that the book would be a guide for beginners, not only school children, J Rolands Nelson, secretary of the association who has been actively involved in the putting together of the book, said that it would be a compilation of various facts about stamp collection and a novice’s guide to philately. “As we are taking part in the book fair we wanted to give book lovers something, and so we decided to honour eminent Tamil writers, which made us come up with the plan to release these special postal covers,” 83-year-old Das said. SIPA will continue its efforts to create awareness in schools about the need to collect stamps and the how-to’s, besides offering tips on maintaining the collection and facts on the growth of philately in India and other countries.
Das has been urging parents to encourage their children to get involved in philately: here was a hobby that could teach them about the history and culture of a nation.
South India Philatelists’ Association (SIPA) was started in 1956 by five keen stamp collectors. It now has more than 600 life members from various walks of life and from all over the country. Those interested in philately can log on to www.sipa.org.in.