Philately undoubtedly is one of the most popular,informative and educative hobbies. It has involved millions and millions of People all around the World. It is instrumental in forging bonds between people irrespective of Nationality, caste, colour, creed or religion. It is a language onto itself which requires no script. In fact the script is common all across the Globe.
It is perhaps the only hobby which gives joy and happiness to people at all ages – be it a child of 10, a young person of 25, a middle aged person of 40, a mature adult at 55 or an old person at 75. The pleasure derived by each one of them from this hobby is immense.
It is thus a duty of all those at the helm of affairs related to this hobby to ensure the hobby survives and reaches new Pinnacles of glory. Like every Plant requires water, sunlight and fertilizers to grow similarly Indian Philately requires more and more young people for this hobby to grow in India.
In order to lure Youth to take on this hobby the controlling agencies viz India Post and PCI need to take some steps . Few suggested steps in this direction have been discussed by me in succeeding paragraphs which could perhaps generate some brain storming at a suitable forum.
Youth Wing in PCI Philatelic Congress of India must have a working Youth wing to oversee the development of Youth Philately I the Country. The elected members must be Young renowned Philatelists who have achieved laurels in Philately at National/ International Level.
Revitalize the Countrywide Network This Youth Wing at PCI must revitalize the countrywide network of similar Youth Wings at State/Region? Zone levels. The state Philatelic bodies ? organizations must promote and encourage Young Philatelists to take charge of Philatelic activities and promotion of Youth Philately.
Interaction with Ministry of Youth Affairs The PCI and especially its Youth Wing must have more interaction with Dept Of Posts to devise ways and means to promote this hobby among the youth of the country. The Ministry of Youth Affairs could be approached to include Philately as afield which requires youth involvement and more so for allocation of funds .A lesson on Philately could be included in CBSE syllabus at secondary school level.
Grass root level Promotion. The promotion has to start at grass root levels for Youth Philately to flourish and take roots. The most important aspect is ‘ Catch them Young ‘ i,e school level children be involved to participate and take on this hobby.
Nodal Philatelic Centers The PCI and State Philatelic bodies should identify active school / cities wherein this hobby is already having a base . To start with even 10 Tier II (satellite town/Cities) cities of the country and about 20 Schools / colleges could be identified and developed as ‘ Nodal Philatelic Centers’.
Youth Philatelic Festivals / Stamp shows Youth Philatelic Festivals , State Youth stamp shows and one frame exhibit shows should be organized during the months of May/ June and December (vacation season ) to promote this hobby . Youth icons in different fields should be invited for such shows.
Young Jury Apprentices Apprentice Jury at National level and below exhibitions should have Young apprentice jury as it will give exposure to Judging and seeing exhibits from a different angle thereby making them mature Philatelists. PCI should have even Youth National Commissioners for International Youth Exhibitions.
Sponsoring Young achievers Once Young philatelists are identified and they achieve laurels at National/ International level they must be sponsored ( financially , Guidance from experts in the field etc ) by PCI / state level bodies and their entries for higher level of competition must be fully supported and ensured.
Youth Stamps India Post can issue at least two sets of stamps every year on Youth Philately/ Themes wherein a surcharge could be levied which could be used for promotion of Youth Philately in the country.
Stamp collecting be made affordable The Dept Of Posts and Philatelic advisory Committee needs to ponder that I order to attract youth to this hobby the number of stamps per year must be restricted to 35- 40 to make this hobby affordable. The flooding of issues mean that a school and college going Youth cannot afford to buy stamps from his/her pocket money or savings and hence loses interest in the hobby.
Stamps on Youth Icons We as a nation must bring out stamps on Youth icons like Sachin , Dhoni, Rathore Sania Mirza , Saina Nehwal , Abhinav Bindra etc to attract youth to this hobby. These icons are their idols and definitely they be get attracted to this hobby. These icons can be great motivators.
Philatelic Dealers and Phila boutiques I believe that this hobby strives on three pillars – Firstly The Dept of Posts and PCI, secondly collectors or philatelists and thirdly the Philatelic dealers. The third Pillar i.e the philatelic dealers must make available genuine material to young philatelists at affordable prices and must not misguide them or overcharge them. That must be taken as a social responsibility and duty rather than making fast bucks.
It is estimated that India has 40 million collectors , over 1500 Philatelic Clubs and Societies., 1.75 lakh Philatelic deposit account holders , 68 Philatelic Bureaus and 1138 Philatelic counters. The infrastructure and main ingredients are in place it only requires guidance, effort , push and channelization.
“HUM HONGE KAMYAAB EK DIN
MAN MEIN HAI VISHWAS “
Contributed By Vinod Sabharwal,New Delhi