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News : June 2016
Picture Postcard on Pandharichi Waari Procession at Dive Ghat – 30th June 2016.
The Waari tradition dates back into times. Saint Dnyaneshwar’s great grandfather – Trymbakpant Kulkarni – used to walk the WARI from his native Apegaon to Pandharpur. Saints Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Sawta Mali, Chokhoba and Tukaram used to participate in the WARI in their own life times. The tradition of the present ‘Palkhi Sohala’ (literally Waari of festivities) can be traced to the year 1685 around 36 years after Saint Tukaram attained divinity (1649).
On third day Pandharichi Waari had a halt at Pune. It will head towards Hadapsar on 1st July, 2016 and will reach Saswad via Dive Ghat. Dive Ghat, a long curvaceous ghat lies on the Pune-Saswad Road, around 10 km from Hadapsar. It is difficult to capture procession of Lacks of warkaaris (devotees) climbing the Dive Ghat towards Saswad. On third day of ‘Waari’, Picture Postcard depicting ‘Waari’ procession at Dive Ghat was released with Special Cancellation of Pune. Wari photographs clicked by photographer Sandesh Bhandare are featured on all the picture postcards. Another set of 5 postcards depicting images of postage stamps issued on ‘Sant Namdeo’, ‘Sant Eknath’, ‘Dnyaneshwari’, ‘Sant Tukaram’ and ‘Sant Dnyaneshwar’ is also available at Rs. 50 per set. Orders for Picture Postcards can also be placed at Pune Philatelic Bureau.
Waari Procession Photo Courtesy: Pritesh Kulkarni
Picture Postcard on Pandharichi Waari – 29th June 2016.
Considered to be one of the world’s largest pilgrimages, the annual Pandharichi Waari carrying Jnaneshwar Palkhi from Alandi (25km east of Pune), to Pandharpur Vithoba Temple is attended by millions of devotees every year. The waarkaris (devotees / pilgrims) from Alandi follow the palanquin carrying the silver images of the Padukas (Sandals) of Saint Dnyaneshwar. Sant Dnyaneshwar, also known as Jnanadev or Jnaneshwar revolutionized Marathi bhakti literature and at the age of fifteen wrote Jnaneswari – a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita which has been a household text in Maharashtrian homes for centuries.
On 29th June Waari reached at Pune and will stay in the city on 30th June, 2016. The Waari will travel through Pune, Saswad, Jejuri, Vhalhe, Lonand, Taradgaon, Phaltan, Barad, Natepute, Malshiras, Velapur, Bhandishegaon, Vakhari to reach Pandharpur. Other palakhi starting near pune is – Saint Tukaram Maharaj Palakhi, which starts from Dehu (near Pune) through Akurdi, Pune, Loni Kalbhor, Yavat, Varvand, Baramati, Sansar, Lasurne, Nimgaon Ketaki, Indapur, Sarati, Akaluj, Borgaon, Pirachi Kuroli, Vakhari to Pandharpur. Both the Palakhi merge together in Vakhari, just prior to Pandharpur.
Waarkari’s mostly dressed in dothi/kurta or women in sari, playing Taal, Mridang, Veena (Indian musical instruments), and singing songs, called as Abhang’s of the Saints keep walking with an eagerness to Lord see Vitthala in Pandarpur. The atmosphere of Waari teaches unity by bringing people having different economic status, casts, education, etc. together, with a common goal of reaching the almighty – Vitthala.
On second day of ‘Waari’ a Picture Postcard depicting Alandi temple with special cancellation of Pune was released.
Pandharichi Waari Mobile Post Office, new attraction in Pandharichi Wari procession – 28th June 2016.
Alandi a small city, 25 km from Pune is popularly known for the Samadhi Mandir of Saint Dnyaneshwar. Saint Dynaneshwar is said to have stayed in Alandi for some time of his 21-year short life. After translating the Bhagavad Gita into Marathi he attained Samadhi here at the age of 21. During the Pandharpur Pilgrimage a procession known as ‘Pandharichi Waari’ that carries symbolic sandals of Dnyaneshwar on a Palkhi starts from Alandi to reach Pandharpur on Ashadhi Ekadashi.
On the occasion of Pandharichi Waari, ‘Pandharichi Waari Mobile Post Office’ housed in a Mail Motor Service Van of Department of Posts was flagged off by Shri Ganesh Sawaleshwarkar, Postmaster General, Pune Region on 28th June 2016. Under the initiative of Pune Postal region, the Mobile Post Office will provide communication service to the Warkaris and their families from 28th June to 15th July 2016.
On the first day of Waari, a Picture Postcard depicting face of Saint Dnyaneswar at Alandi Temple with the Special Cancellation of Mobile Post Office at Alandi Devachi was also released. Address side of the postcard depicts route of Pandharichi Waari from Alandi to Pandharpur including places of halts. Speed Post articles were also booked at the Mobile Post Office.
Next halt of the 'Waari' would be at Pune on 29th and 30th June at Palkhi Vithoba Mandir, Bhavani Peth Pune. During these two days 'Waarkari' (devotees) can avail 'My Stamp' facility at this location also. 'My Stamp' facility can also be availed through Mobile Post Office.
Pandharichi Wari Mobile Post Office to be flagged off on 28th June 2016.
Vitthal temple of Pandharpur is the main centre of worship for Vitthala or Vithoba, believed to be a form of Lord Krishna or Vishnu and Pandharichi Wari is an annual pilgrimage to pay tributes to Lord Viththala in Pandharpur. The word ‘Wari’ in Marathi literally means ‘to visit at regular intervals’. This Wari is held during the months of June and July, starting on Jyeshta Vada Ashtami from Alandi and culminates at Pandharpur a distance of more than 205 Kms, on Ashadhi Ekadashi, the 11th day of Ashadha. Waarkaris' (Devotees) start their journey by foot carrying the palkhis (palanquin processions) carrying the paduka (foot prints) of famous saints of Maharashtra, most notably Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram. This tradition is more than 700 to 800 years old.
This annual pilgrimage has an important socio-cultural significance and to facilitate the communication service amongst the Waarkari, Pune Postal Region for the first time has taken up an initiative of introducing a unique Pandarchi Waari Mobile Post Office from 28th June 2016 to 16th July 2016. The Pandharichi Waari Mobile Post Office housed in a Mail Motor Service Van of Department of Posts will accompany the Wari from Alandi Devachi Post Office from 28th June and will reach Pandharpur on 15th July 2016.
Postal facilities viz. sale of postage stamps, mailing of ordinary letters, Registration, Speed Post booking, Money Order Service (Devotees can also receive payment of Money Order by producing identity proof), My Stamp facility etc. will be made available in Mobile Post Office. Benefits of various Govt. Schemes will also be explained at Mobile Post Office. The Mobile Post Office will halt al all the scheduled halts listed in the 'Waari Palkhi Sohala'.
On this occasion a set of 15 postcards specially printed with photographs capturing various memorable moments of Wari will be available for sale at the Mobile Post Office. The cost of the set of 15 postcards is Rs. 110. Postcards can also be mailed through Mobile Post Office by affixing Rs. 6 Postage Stamp. Another set of 5 postcards depicting images of postage stamps issued on ‘Sant Namdeo’, ‘Sant Eknath’, ‘Dnyaneshwari’, ‘Sant Tukaram’ and ‘Sant Dnyaneshwar’ will also be made available at Rs. 50 per set of 5 postcards. All these saints and the Dnyaneshwari are revered by the warkaris. Special Cancellation for each day of eighteen-day pilgrimage depicting the 'Sprit of Wari' will be made available at the Mobile Post Office. This is the first time that such mobile post office is accompanying the pilgrimage.
Special Cover on Seth Shankardan Nahata – 28th June 2016.
Bikaner is blessed to have many generous entrepreneurs and social transformers. The Nahata family of Bikaner is known for generosity and human values. Shri Shankardan Nahata (b. 1874 - d. 1942) was multi-talented orator, diligent entrepreneur, philanthropist and social leader. He was one of the architects of Sri Jain Pathshala Sabha, which was started in 1907.
A Special Cover on Seth Shri Shankardan Nahata was released jointly by Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, M.P., Shri Giriraj Meena, I. G. Police and Shri S. S. Shekhawat, Superintendent of Post Offices at a function held at Bikaner on 28th June 2016.
Courtesy: Sudhir Jain, Satna
Special Cover on Loreto Convent School, Tara Hall, Shimla – 27th June 2016.
Loreto Convent, Tara Hall belongs to the worldwide family of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as Loreto, which was founded by an English woman named Mary Ward, way back in the 16th century. Loreto Sisters and the Loreto Associates are involved in various ministries in every continent, carrying forward Mary Ward’s vision who saw Integrity, Justice, Freedom and Love as essential qualities for any person. She desired that women in particular find their rightful place in the world and society in which they live, becoming people of reflection and discernment in making choices, and learning to "refer all things to God". Developing sincere and right relationships was central to her way. Mary Ward also emphasised the need for deep joy, or ‘felicity’.
Loreto Convent, Tara Hall, Shimla is one of 15 Loreto schools in India. It is an English medium high school for girls, managed by the Shimla Loreto Educational Society. The school is a day school, affiliated to the CBSE Board, Delhi and has classes from Nursery to Class XII.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh released a Special Cover was released on Loreto Convent School, Tara Hall, Shimla on 27th June 2016 in presence of Chief Post Master General, Major General AK Shouri at the inaugural function of newly constructed block at Loreto Convent School named after sister ‘Gonzaga’ and named as Gonzaga Block. (Special Cover approval no. HP/05/2016)
Cover Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
Special Cover on Inauguration of New Rotary International District 3141 - 26th June 2016.
Today Rotary International continues to respond to the needs of an ever changing world, whilst retaining its strong founding principles. There are 1.2 million Rotarians in 34000 clubs doing good all over the world. This network of clubs makes up Rotary International.
In 1929 Rotary Club of Bombay was formed with 38 Charter Members with Sole Indian Rotarian Sir Phiroz Shetna, who served as District Governor in the year 1937-38. Rotary District 3140 is the largest district in the world and covers revenue districts of Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai with 148 Clubs and about 7500 dedicated Rotarians. Effective from 1st July 2016, Rotary District 3140 bifurcated into Rotary District 3141 (Revenue District of Mumbai) and Rotary District 3142 (Revenue District of Thane, Navi Mumbai).
Rotary International has been involved in various social service activities like Arogya, a Diabetes Awareness and Control, Touching Little Hearts, a Paediatric Heart Surgeries program, Railway Stations’ Adoptions, Nityam, a program for providing Toilets for People, etc.
On the occasion of Inauguration of the New Rotary International District 3141 and installation of District Governor a Special Cover was released at Mumbai on 26th June, 2016. (Special Cover approval no. MH/22/2016).
Courtesy: Jigar Desai, Mumbai | Viswas Menon, Madikeri
Special Cover on Golden Jubilee of Bishop Heber College – 24th June 2016.
Bishop Heber College is a religious minority educational institution established by the Tiruchirappalli - Thanjavur Diocese of the Church of South India in Tiruchirappalli. Bishop Heber College traces its origin back to Christian Frederick Schwartz, the first German missionary, supported by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (S.P.C.K) in South India. He built a school near the Rock Fort in Tiruchirappalli in 1762. The School was vested in the S.P.C.K, and subsequently handed over to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (S.P.G) in 1825. Later the School was renamed Heber Memorial School. The Heber Memorial School became a full-fledged high school in 1864. In 1873 the School was raised to a Second Grade College and in 1882 it became a First Grade College. It was then known as S.P.G College. It was the first college to be established in Tiruchirappalli. The College came to be known as Bishop Heber College in the late 1920's. The Lindsay Commission on Christian Higher Education in India recommended the merger of the Bishop Heber College with the Madras Christian College. Accordingly, Bishop Heber College was closed in 1934. The Most Rev. Dr. Solomon Doraisawmy, Bishop of Tiruchirappalli - Thanjavur Diocese made an effort to revive the College in 1964. He succeeded in reviving the College on 24th June 1966. The College functioned at Teppakulam in the old College Buildings from 1966 to 1968, having only Pre-University classes. In July 1968 the College was upgraded to the Degree Standard with three Degree Courses Viz. History, Economics and Mathematics and the Degree Classes were conducted at Puthur, where the College had acquired a site for its permanent buildings. For four years from 1968 to 1972, the College functioned in two places, the Pre-University Classes at Teppakulam and the Degree Classes at Puthur. The College now offers thirteen Under-Graduate, eighteen Post-Graduate and four Post-Graduate Diploma Programmes and three Diploma Programmes of study besides research programmes leading to M.Phil. and Ph.D. The College has already established a great reputation for its high academic standards and attracts students from all over India and abroad.
The college celebrated its ‘Golden Jubilee Revival Day’ on 24th June 2016. On the occasion a Special Cover was released by J. Charukesi, Postmaster General, Central Region, Tamil Nadu and it was received by Rev. G. Paul Vasanthakumar, Bishop, CSI, Tiruchi-Thanjavur Diocese and D. Paul Dhayabaran, Principal of the College (Special Cover approval no. TN/26/2016).
Cover Courtesy: Kasinath Rajasekaran, Thanjavur
Special Cover on Coimbatore Medical College, Coimbatore - 24th June 2016.
Coimbatore Medical College was established in 1966 after G D Naidu, a scientist of an industrial family of Coimbatore city who donated the 153 acres of land to the Tamil Nadu state government under the Chief Minister K. Kamaraj. This Esteemed institution has come up from a very humble beginning as a Municipal Hospital inaugurated by Lord Ampthill, the then governor of Madras Presidency on 14th July 1909.
The college has developed into a temple of knowledge with eminent teachers, quality infra structure and adequate clinical materials. Over the years, the college has stood the test of time and is progressing steadily by offering various undergraduate, post graduate super-specialty and paramedical courses that serves the poor, needy and meritorious students.
To commemorate Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Coimbatore Medical College a Special Cover was released by Tamilnadu State Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar in presence of State Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani, Collector Archana Patnaik, Rajya Sabha MP A.K. Selvaraj and Ms. Sharda Sampath, Postmaster General, Western Region, Coimbatore on 24th June 2016. (Special Cover approval no. TN/27/2016).
Cover Courtesy: Suresh Rao, Bengaluru
Special Cover on 15 years of Partnership of India Post and Western Union – 22nd June 2016.
The Western Union is a global leader in money transfer services. Western Union and India Post together enables consumers in remote parts of India to receive remittances seamlessly via Western Union services. The collaboration has resulted in fast, convenient and reliable financial access to people across India.
To commemorate 15 years of partnership between India Post and Western Union, the money transfers service provider a Special Cover was released at Thiruvananthapuram on 22nd June 2016 (Special Cover approval no. KL/13/2016).
Cover Courtesy: Suresh Rao, Bengaluru
Picture Postcards on Surya Namasakar and two Information Booklet on Yoga released by Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle.
A set of 12 picture postcards showing 12 postures of Surya Namaskar has been released by Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle. Back side of the cards shows the steps to be followed to perform Surya Namaskar. Set of 12 picture postcards is priced at Rs. 250 and available in all philatelic bureaux in Andhra Pradesh. Quantity Printed: 500 nos.
Two information booklets on Yoga have also been released by Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle. The booklets gives a brief description on the various Yoga postures which are depicted in the stamps. Information on asanas of Surya Namaskar along with Mantra for the respective posture is given. One book contains 4 commemorative stamps issued on Yoga in 1991, one stamp issued in 2015 and set of 12 stamps on Surya Namaskar issued on 20th June 2016. The booklet is priced at Rs. 800. Similar information booklet without set of 4 stamps issued in 1991 is priced at Rs. 500.
Courtesy: Sagi Srinivas Raju, Hyderabad
Special Cover on Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh – 21st June 2016.
Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh is one of the oldest journalist organisations of Mumbai based Marathi Journalists, constituted on 21st June 1941. Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh celebrated its Platinum Jubilee on 21st June 2016 at Mumbai. On this occasion a Special Cover was released by Lok Sabha speaker Mrs. Sumitra Mahajan and Chief Post Master General, Maharashtra and Goa Circle Ms. Usha Chandrashekhar (Special Cover approval no. MH/21/2016).
Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
Special Cover on 75 years of Mumbai Philatelic Bureau - 21st June 2016.
The first philatelic bureau in India was opened on 21st June 1941 at Bombay GPO to cater needs of philatelists. Bombay Philatelic Bureau was the only bureau in India, functioning alone for more than 7 years. On 15th August 1948, nine philatelic bureaux were opened in different state capitals of India, viz. Calcutta, Cuttack, Delhi, Lucknow, Madras, Nagpur, Patna, Shillong and Simla vide Postal Notice no. 31, dated 6.8.1948. In Bangalore Philatelic Bureau was established on 6th May 1961 at Bangalore GPO.
On the occasion of 75 years of Mumbai Philatelic Bureau, a Special Cover was released at Bengaluru on 21st June 2016. Special Cover was released by Ms. Veena R Srinivas, Postmaster General (BD), Karnataka Circle, Bangalore at a function held at Bengaluru GPO (Special Cover approval no. KTK/08/2016).
Courtesy: Suresh Rao, Bengaluru
Platinum Jubilee of India’s first Philatelic Bureau at Mumbai – 21st June 2016.
Philatelic Bureau’s primary function is supplying to the general public a variety of philatelic collectibles. To make collecting stamps a hassle-free experience, the Philately Bureau maintains Philatelic Deposit Account (PDA) for those interested in collecting stamps. Every account holder gets the philatelic material as per the standing order. The order can be commemorative stamps, first day cover, information brochure and collectors’ pack.
The first philatelic bureau in India was opened on 21st June 1941 at Bombay GPO to cater needs of philatelists. Bombay Philatelic Bureau was the only bureau in India, functioning alone for more than 7 years. On 15th August 1948, nine philatelic bureaux were opened in different state capitals of India, viz. Calcutta, Cuttack, Delhi, Lucknow, Madras, Nagpur, Patna, Shillong and Simla vide Postal Notice no. 31, dated 6.8.1948.
Mumbai Philatelic Bureau completed 75 years of specialised philatelic services to philatelists on 21st June 2016. Today Philatelic Bureau at Mumbai GPO is the India’s largest Philatelic Bureau and also functioning as International Philatelic Bureau in the country. There are around 100 foreign deposit account holders from various nations at this bureau. It also has 4,948 domestic account holders.
In order to celebrate the occasion, a philatelic seminar was organized by Maharashtra Postal Circle at Conference Hall of Chief Postmaster General’s Office, Mumbai on 21st June 2016. This was the first philatelic seminar held by Mumbai Philatelic Bureau. On the occasion philatelic talk were given by Mr. Rajan Jayakar and Mr. Vispi Dastur of Mumbai. Power Point presentations based on papers/articles of Shri Ashok Kumar Bayanwala, Ahmedabad, Shri Punit Dixit, Nadiad and Shri Prashant Pandya, Vadodara were also presented. Shri Ganesh Sawaleshwarkar, Postmaster General, Pune Region presented paper/ Power Point presentation of Shri Prashant Pandya on ‘Devotional Post’. The event was graced by local philatelists and officers of Department of Posts.
Special Cover on 75 years of Mumbai Philatelic Bureau – 21st June 2016.
Evening session of Platinum Jubilee celebration of Mumbai Philatelic Bureau was organized at Mumbai GPO to commemorate the event by releasing special cover. A Special Cover was jointly released by Shri V. V. Satyanarayana Reddy, Director Mumbai GPO, Shri Ganesh Sawaleshwarkar, Postmaster General Pune Region, Shri Dhirubhai Mehta, Senior Philatelist, Shri P. N. Ranjit Kumar, Postmaster General, Mumbai Region and Shri E. V. Rao, Director Postal Services, Mumbai Region (Special Cover approval no. MH/23/2016). On the occasion Shri Dhirubhai Mehta was specially honoured.
Special Cover on Ter-Centenary Martyrdom of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur – 20th June 2016.
Banda Singh Bahadur was born on 16th October, 1670, as Lachman Dev at Rajouri in present-day Jammu & Kashmir. At the age of 20 he gave up worldly life and became a bairagi. In 1708 he came in contact with Guru Gobind Singh who encouraged him to give up his life as a bairagi and resume the duties of a real Rajput. It was in the month of September 1708 that Guru Gobind Singh conferred upon him the title of Banda Singh Bahadur. He was appointed by Guru Gobind Singh as his deputy and military lieutenant. After the death of Guru Gobind Singh ji in 1708, he fought the Mughals and in February 1710 established the first sovereign Sikh state with its headquarters at Mukhlispur, later renamed Lohgarh. In May 1710 he invaded Sirhind and defeated Wazir Khan thus fulfilling the task given to him by his guru. After establishing his authority in Punjab, Banda Singh Bahadur abolished the zamindari system, and granted property rights to the tillers of the land. Many more battles were fought by him against the Mughals and his sovereign rule came to an end with his arrest in December 1715. He was then brought to Delhi along with his 740 Sikhs and executed on 24th June, 1716.
A Special Cover was released to commemorate Ter-Centenary Martyrdom of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur on 20th June 2016 by Shri L. N. Sharma, Chief Postmaster General, Delhi in presence of Manjit Singh GK, DSGMC President and Tarlochan Singh, former chairman, National Commission for Minorities at a function organized by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC). (Special Cover approval no. DEL/15/2016).
Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
Commemorative Stamps on Surya Namaskar – 20th June 2016.
Surya Namaskar or 'Sun Salutation' is a very ancient technique of paying respect or expressing gratitude to the sun that is the source of all forms of life on the planet. Symbolically, the sun becomes our source of energy as well. About the history of this technique, it has been said by the ancient rishis of India that the different parts of the body are governed by different devas (divine impulses or divine light). The solar plexus (located behind the navel, which is the central point of the human body), also known as the second brain, is said to be connected to the sun. This is the main reason why the ancient rishis recommended the practice of Surya Namaskar, because the regular practice of this technique enhances the solar plexus, which increases one's creativity and intuitive abilities. It is not by accident but by intent that it has been structured with twelve postures or twelve asanas in it. If your system is in a certain level of vibrancy and readiness, and in a good state of receptivity, then naturally your cycle will be in sync with the solar cycle.
On the occasion of International Day of Yoga 2016 to be celebrated on 21st June a set of twelve commemorative stamps and Miniature Sheet were released by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 20th June, 2016 at New Delhi in presence of the Union Minister for Communications & Information Technology, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge) and Health & Family Welfare, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, the Cabinet Secretary, Shri Pradeep Kumar Sinha, the Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr. P.K. Mishra, the Secretary of AYUSH, Shri Ajit M. Sharan and Shri S K Sinha, Secretary (Posts) & Chairman, PS Board (Addl. Charge) and Member (Planning).
Sheetlet containing 24 stamps is also released on the occasion.
Special Cover on Vikas Parv, Chhau Dance – 17th June 2016.
To celebrate two years of Narendra Modi government, the Bhartiya Janta Party observed Vikas Parv under which a Union ministers accompanied by Union MoS and a national leaders visited various parts of the country from 27th May to 25th June, apprising people of the major programmes initiated by Government.
Union minister for communication and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, attended a Vikas Parv event at Michael John auditorium, Jamshedpur on 17th June 2016 and apprised people about the various pro-people work done by Government and his department during two-years in office. On this occasion a Special Cover was released by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad on Vikas Parv depicting Chhau Dance. Cancellation on the cover depicts Mask of Chhau Dance.
Chhau dance, also spelled as Chau or Cchau, is a major classical Indian dance, with origins in the eastern Indian states of Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. It is found in three styles named after the location where they are performed, i.e. the Purulia Chau of Bengal, the Seraikella Chau of Bihar now Jharkhand, and the Mayurbhanj Chau of Odisha. The dance ranges from celebrating martial arts, acrobatics and athletics performed in festive themes of a folk dance, to a structured dance with religious themes found in Shaivism, Shaktism and Vaishnavism. The costumes vary between the styles, with Purulia and Serakeilla using masks to identify the character. The stories enacted by Chhau dancers include those from the Hindu epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the Puranas and other Indian literature. The dance is traditionally an all males troupe, regionally celebrated particularly during spring every year, and may be a syncretic dance form that emerged from a fusion of classical Hindu dances and the traditions of ancient regional tribes. The dance is egalitarian and brings together people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds in a festive and religious spirit.
Special Cover on Diamond Jubilee of Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology – 17th June 2016.
The Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT), the premier Aviation technical training establishment of the Indian Navy. It was set up as the Naval Air Technical School (NATS) in the wake of the induction of the amphibious Sea Land aircraft in 1956. It was later renamed to the Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology in the eighties. The institute imparts Aviation Technical Training to Technical Officers, Sailors and Aircrew of the Naval Air Arm, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) besides training personnel of friendly foreign Navies. The NIAT has several aircraft in its collection used for instructional purposes. The growth of the Institute has been rapid especially over the last decade. The institute is recognised as a ‘Centre for Aeronautical Science and Technology’ by Cochin University with the offering of a host of academic qualifications for courses conducted at the institute such as M. Tech, BSc, and Diploma in Aeronautics etc.
The Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT) celebrated its Diamond Jubilee on 17th June 2016. A Special Cover was released jointly by Vice Admiral A. R. Karve and Smt. Sumathi Ravichandran, Postmaster General, Kochi Region to commemorate the occasion at Kochi Naval Base on 17th June 2016.
Cover Courtesy: Devis Kolenchery Kurian, Aluva
Special Cover on Shri Jain Swetamber Dadawadi Temple Trust – 15th June 2016.
Shri Jain Swetamber Dadawadi Temple in Shukrawar Peth is one of the known Jain temples in Pune and a serene place. On the occasion of Silver Jubilee Celebration of Shri Jain Swetamber Dadawadi Temple Trust a Special Cover was released on 15th June 2016 at Pune. (Special Cover approval no. MH/20/2016).
Image Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
Special Cover on Sukanya Samriddhi Khata – 14th June 2016.
The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is as girl child prosperity scheme under Beti Bachao Beti padhao program of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. SSY account is to ensure a bright future for girl children in India. This yojana is to facilitate them proper education and carefree marriage expenses. The scheme has well been accepted by the masses in wake of the financial security and independence it would provide to the girl child as well as their parents and guardians.
This Yojana offers a small deposit investment for the girl children as an initiative under ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign. One of the key benefits of the scheme is that it is quite affordable and offers one of the highest rates of interest. Please see this page for current SSY interest rate and also SSY is under the Income Tax Act 1961, section 80C.
A Special Cover was released on the Sukanya Samriddhi Khata scheme of Department of Posts at Indore on 14th June 2016.
Special Cover on Govt. Holkar (Model, Autonomous) Science College, Indore – 10th June 2016.
Govt. Holkar Science College was established on 10th of June, 1891 by the ruler of the erstwhile Indore (Holkar) dynasty Maharaja Shivaji Rao Holkar in the memory of his father Maharaja Tukoji Rao Holkar to meet the requirement of education in the central provinces. As no building was available, initially the classes were started in Maharaja Shivaji Rao school for some years. A new building was constructed in 1894 in Navlakha area beautifully situated and full of countless trees. In the beginning Subjects Taught were English Literature, Sanskrit, Persian, Logic, History, Political Economy, Math's & Science. Oxford University graduate and Bar-at-law. The state govt. Declared it as a Model College in 1985-86. It was given a status of an Autonomous College in 1988 by D. A. University with the consent of the state govt. and U.G.C., New Delhi.
A Special Cover was released on Govt. Holkar (Model, Autonomous) Science College on 10th June 2016 at Indore.
Image Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
Special Covers on Tamil Writers – 10th June 2016.
On the occasion of the on-going 39th Chennai Book Fair at Chennai, South India Philatelists' Association in collaboration with Department of Posts, Tamilnadu Postal Circle released Six Special Covers on six eminent Tamil writer who have made significant contribution to Tamil literature. Special Covers on Va. Ramaswamy, A. K. Chettiar, Pudhumaipithan, T. Janakiraman, D. Jayakanthann and P. V. Akilandam (Akilan) were released by Postmaster General, Chennai City Region, Shri Mervin Alexandeer and Postmaster General, Mails & BD, Shri J. T. Venkateswarlu at the function held on 10th June 2016 at Chennai. All six special covers bear common special cancellation.
VA. Ramasamy: V. Ramaswami Iyengar or Va. Ramasamy also known as Va. Ra. A freedom fighter and journalist was born in Tiruppazhanam village near Tiruvayyar. He went to school in Tanjore. In Tiruchirappalli, when reading for his F.A. (Intermediate), he was drawn to the nationalist movement. About 1908, he became a close associate of poet Subrahmanya Bharati and V.V.S. Aiyar. In 1916, Va. Ra. became Editor of Swatantram, a weekly from Tanjore. Va. Ra. Has written Sundari, a novel about a young Hindu widow's ordeals. This book won for him acknowledged status as a writer of vigorous Tamil, an inspiring idealist, and zealous social reformer. Va. Ra.'s most characteristic service came as Editor of Manikkodi when he introduced new forms of Tamil style, and strongly inspired a crop of young writers. His Nadai Chitram, a collection of pen-portraits of common social types, was hailed as a distinct contribution to new literature. In 1939, he edited Bharata Devi, as a weekly. In 1942, Va. Ra. edited Nava Yugam. Imprisoned in Bellary Jail during the Satyagraha movement, he suffered insomnia and used the time to write Kothai Theevu. He died on 23rd August 1951 at his residence in Nungambakkam, Madras. (Special Cover approval no. TN/20/2016).
A. K. Chettiar: A. K. Chettiar (b. 3 November 1911 – d. 10 September 1983) was a Tamil travelogue writer, journalist and documentary film maker from Tamil Nadu. He is most notable for pioneering travelogue writing in Tamil. He was in his prime the most celebrated writer of a translucent Tamil prose style and he was the pioneer in Tamil travel writing. He published his famous monthly, Kumari Malar which itself had some unique achievements. He unearthed the long forgotten writings of the famed Tamil poet, Subramany a Bahrati, before others came in the trail. His another notable achievement was his documentary on Mahatma Gandhi. His documentary film on Gandhi is unique in many ways. It is credited to be the first documentary on Mahatma Gandhi. He started working on this project in 1937. He collected archival footage of Gandhi from several sources in several countries including India, UK and South Africa. (Special Cover approval no. TN/21/2016)
Pudhumaipithan (C. Viruthachalam): Pudhumaipithan or Puthumaippiththan, is the pseudonym of C. Viruthachalam (b. 25 April 1906 – d. 5 May 1948), one of the most influential and revolutionary writers of Tamil fiction. He completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Tirunelveli Hindu college in 1931. His career as a writer began in 1933 with an essay "Gulabjaan Kaadhal" (Love for Gulab jamun) published in the magazine Gandhi.His first short story "Aatrangarai Pillaiyaar" (Pillaiyaar on the river bank) was published in 1934 in "Manikodi" and from then on his short stories appeared regularly in it. His works were characterized by social satire, progressive thinking and outspoken criticism of accepted conventions. He as an individual and his works have been extensively reviewed and debated for over sixty years since his death. His influence has been accepted and appreciated by the present day writers and critics of Tamil fiction. In 2002, the Government of Tamil Nadu nationalised the works of Pudumaippithan. (Special Cover approval no. TN/22/2016).
T. Janakiraman: T. Janakiraman, also known as Thi Janakiraman or Thi Jaa, (b. 28 February 1921 – d. 18 November 1983) was a Tamil writer from Tamil Nadu. Thi. Janakiraman is a prominent figure of the 20th century Tamil fictional writing. His composition style was very spontaneous, lucid, basic and narrative. His literary works have greatly helped in the development of Tamil fiction. He is noted well for his works ‘Amma Vanthal’ and ‘Moga Mul’. Apart from novels, he has written short stories, novellas, plays and travelogues. All of the novels written by T. Janakiraman have feminine feelings incorporated in the themes. He was awarded ‘Sahitya Akademi Award’ for his short story collection Sakthi Vaidhiyam in 1979 (Special Cover approval no. TN/23/2016).
D. Jayakanthan: Jayakanthan (b. 24 April 1934 – d. 8 April 2015), popularly known as JK, was a writer, journalist, orator, film-maker, critic and activist. Born in Cuddalore, Jayakanthan ran away from home to Madras and became a member of the Communist party at a very young age. His first short story appeared in a little known magazine Sowbakiyavathi. In an exceptionally successful literary career spanning half a century, Jayakanthan has authored 15 novels, 30 novelettes, 15 anthologies comprising over 200 short stories and about 20 collections of essays. Outside literature, he made two films. His writings essentially centered on the travails of the downtrodden sections and the challenges that the expanding urban middle class confronted in the early years of Independence when the country was just pushed into development mode. Many of his short stories have been translated into other Indian and foreign languages. Jayakanthan's literary honours include Jnanpith (2002) and Sahitya Akademi awards. He was also a recipient of Padma Bhushan (2009), the Soviet Land Nehru Award (1978), and the Russian Government’s Order of Friendship (2011). (Special Cover approval no. TN/24/2016).
P. V. Akilandam (Akilan): P. V. Akilan (b. June 27, 1922 – Jan. 31, 1988) was a Tamil writer known for his realistic and creative writing style. His real name was Akilandam. He used the pen name Akilan for his literary work. He was born in Perungalore, Tamil Nadu. Attracted to Gandhi’s principles, he left college studies and joint freedom movement. After Indian independence, he joined the Railway Mail Service and later AIR. He became a full-fledged writer after that. He was a short story writer, novelist, playwright, freedom fighter, critic, scriptwriter and many more. He has written historical novels as well as social novels. His ever green literary works include 18 novels and 15 short story collections. For his Tamil work Chitttrappavai, he received Jnanpith award in the year 1975. Vengayin maindan that captured the history of chola dynasty was read by millions and regarded as a great work of Akilan. This work was dramatized by Shivaji Ganesan on stage and proved successful too. This work received Sahithya academy award of Government of India. (Special Cover approval no. TN/25/2016).
Images Courtesy: Mahesh Parekh, Chennai
Commemorative Stamp on 100 Years of Tata Power - 10th June 2016.
Tata Power is India’s largest integrated power company with a growing international presence. The Company together with its subsidiaries and jointly controlled entities has an installed gross generation capacity of 9184 MW and a presence in all the segments of the power sector viz. Fuel Security and Logistics, Generation (thermal, hydro, solar and wind), Transmission, Distribution and Trading. It has successful public-private partnerships in Generation, Transmission and Distribution in India namely “Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited" with Delhi Vidyut Board for distribution in North Delhi, 'Powerlinks Transmission Ltd.' with Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. for evacuation of Power from Tala hydro plant in Bhutan to Delhi and 'Maithon Power Ltd.' with Damodar Valley Corporation for a 1050 MW Mega Power Project at Jharkhand. Tata Power is serving more than 2.6 million distribution consumers in India and has developed the country’s first 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Project at Mundra (Gujarat) based on super-critical technology. It is also one of the largest renewable energy players in India. Its international presence includes strategic investments in Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa, Zambia, Australia, Bhutan etc.
On the occasion of centenary celebrations of Tata Power, a commemorative stamp was released on 10th June 2016 by the Chief Postmaster General Shri L. N. Sharma in the presence of Mr. Anil Sardana, CEO & MD, Tata Power to commemorate Company’s 100 years contribution to India’s growth story. The function was also graced by some senior leaders of the Tata Group and Officials from Department of Posts. The stamp symbolises the Company's commitment and dedication to realise the vision of its founder, Shri Jamshetji Tata, that 'clean, cheap and abundant power is on the basic ingredients for the economic progress of a city, state or country'.
Special Cover on 100 years of Assemblies of God India – 9th June 2016.
The General Council of the Assemblies of God is a fellowship of the Assemblies of God churches in India which are passionate about uniting churches, equipping individuals to live Godly lives, to establish God-centered families and bring the unique principles and love of Christ to all humanity. The General Council oversees all the Assembly of God churches within India, through their regional councils which administer and enable the smooth functioning of churches in their respective regions.
Assemblies of God India was established in 1916 at Chennai. The General Council of the Assemblies of God of India is a registered body under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act 1975. All the churches in the General Council of the Assemblies of God serve the people of India exhibiting the love and compassion of Christ, so that each and every person will be a better citizen bringing glory to the nation and live for the glory of God.
To mark the Centennial celebration of Assemblies of God in India a Special Cover was released at Chennai on 9th June 2016 (Special Cover approval no. TN/19/2016).
Cover Courtesy: Mahesh Parekh, Chennai
Special Cover on Second Mahamastakabhisheka of Bade Baba Rishabhanatha – 6th June 2016.
Kundalpur is a town located in Madhya Pradesh, 35 km from the city of Damoh. It is a historical pilgrimage site for Jains in India. Kundalpur has a large image of Rishabhanatha (also known as Bade Baba). The image is in sitting (Padmasana) posture and is 15 feet in height. This is also the place of salvation of Antim Kevali Shridhar Kevali.
Second Mahamastakabhisheka ceremony of Bade Baba was held at Kundalpur from 4th to 9th June 2016. On the occasion of Second Mahamastakabhisheka of Bade Baba Rishabhanatha a Special Cover was released by industrialist Shri Ashok Patni of R. K. Marbles in the auspicious presence of Pujya Aacharya Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj on 6th June 2016 at Kundalpur. A Special Cover was also released on the occasion of first Mahamastakabhisheka at Kundalpur on 22nd February 2001.
Image Courtesy: Sudhir Jain, Satna
Special Cover on World Environment Day 2016 (HARITHAKERALAM – 2016) – 5th June 2016.
The booming illegal trade in wildlife products is eroding Earth’s precious biodiversity, robbing us of our natural heritage and driving whole species to the brink of extinction. The killing and smuggling is also undermining economies and ecosystems, fueling organized crime, and feeding corruption and insecurity across the globe. Wildlife crime endangers iconic elephants, rhinos, tigers, gorillas and sea turtles. Lesser-known victims include helmeted hornbills and pangolins, as well as wild orchids and timbers like Rosewood – flowers and timber are also considered wildlife! Celebrated globally on 5th June every year, World Environment Day highlights various conservation and environmental issues. It also undermines our economies, communities and security. This year’s theme “Go Wild for Life—Zero Tolerance for Illegal Wildlife Trade” focused on the need to curb poaching and illegal wildlife trade to ensure the survival of wildlife.
Social Forestry Wing of Kerala Forests & Wildlife Department focuses on creating awareness among the public and invites Citizen’s participation to put an end to illegal wildlife trade. On the occasion of World Environment Day 2016 the department requested citizens of the state to provide information and requested to reframe from using illegal Wildlife products. Public can provide information about illegal wildlife trade on Forest Department’s toll free number, 1800 425 4733.
On the occasion of World Environment Day 2016 a Special Cover was released by Kerala Postal Circle jointly with Social Forestry Wing, Kerala Forests & Wildlife Department on 5th June 2016 at Punalur.
Image Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
Special Cover on 65th Plenary of North Eastern Council – 3rd June 2016.
The North Eastern Council is the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the North Eastern Region which consists of the eight States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The North Eastern Council was constituted in 1971 by an Act of Parliament. The constitution of the Council has marked the beginning of a new chapter of concerted and planned endeavour for the rapid development of the Region. Over the last forty-five years, NEC has been instrumental in setting in motion a new economic endeavour aimed at removing the basic handicaps that stood in the way of normal development of the region and has ushered in an era of new hope in this backward area full of great potentialities.
The two-day 65th Plenary of North Eastern Council was held at Shillong on 26th and 27th May 2016. Prime Minister Narendra Modi graced the concluding day of the plenary as the Chief Guest. A Special Cover and My Stamp were released to mark the 65th Plenary of North Eastern Council on 3rd June 2016 at Shillong by Shri V. Shanmughanathan, Hon'ble Governor of Manipur & Meghalaya States in the august presence of Shri K.S. Kropha, IAS, Chief Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Shri Ram Muivah, IAS, Secretary of North Eastern Council, Shillong and Shri Som Kamei, the Director Postal Services (HQ), N.E. Postal Circle, Shillong. (Special Cover approval no. NE/09/2016-2017).
Image Courtesy: Joy Justin Bongcher, Shillong
Customised My Stamp on Amazon India – 3rd June 2016.
Amazon.com, Inc., often referred to as simply Amazon, is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest Internet-based retailer in the United States. Amazon.com started as an online bookstore, later diversifying to sell DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, video downloads/streaming, MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys and jewelry. The company also produces consumer electronics—notably, Amazon Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, and Fire TV and is the world's largest provider of cloud infrastructure services (IaaS).
Amazon India launched its services in India in June 2013. India Post is one of Amazon India’s prime carriers. Amazon India celebrated its third anniversary on 3rd June 2016. On the occasion a Customised My Stamp was released to signify 3 years of its relationship and celebrate the e-commerce marketplace’s third anniversary in the country. India Post is one of the prime carriers that Amazon India uses as a delivery channel in over 19,000 pin-codes through 155,000 post-offices which includes a majority of outlets in rural areas across all 35 states and union territories in India. Customised ‘My Stamp’ was released by Smt. Usha Chandrashekar, Chief Postmaster General, Karnataka Circle along with Amit Agarwal, VP & Country Head, Amazon India at Bangalore on 3rd June 2016. This is the first time that the Department of Post has released ‘My Stamp’ to commemorate a milestone with an ecommerce marketplace.
This is seventh issue of Customised Stamp and it depicts a delivery boy with a carton labelled Amazon with ‘My Stamp’ words incorporated in the stamp design. The blank space beside the stamp is printed with ‘amazon.in’ and ‘3 years of delivering smiles’.
Special Cover on BAPASI Chennai Book Fair – 1st June 2016.
BAPASI (Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India) is organizing the Chennai Book Fair every year since 1976. So far 38 editions of the Chennai Book Fair have been successfully organised by BAPASI. 39th edition of the book fair is organised at Island Grounds, Park Town, Chennai from 1st to 13th June 2016. There are more than 800 book stalls in this huge ground and more than 5 Lakh books have been displayed at the book fair.
South India Philatelists' Association (SIPA) has also put up a stall at the Chennai Book Fair (Stall no. 396) for the promotion of philately and to create awareness about philately among students and general public. A Handbook on ‘Stamp Collecting for Beginners’ was released by SIPA on 1st June at the Chennai Book Fair. A Special Cover was also released on BAPASI, Chennai Book Fair on 1st June 2016 by Mr. Mervin Alexander, Postmaster General, Chennai City Region (Special Cover approval no. TN/18/20160).
Courtesy: Mahesh Parekh, Chennai
Special Cover on Diamond Jubilee of Evangelical Church of India (ECI) – 1st June 2016.
The Evangelical Church of India was founded by the Oriental Missionary Society, newly called OMS International, whose founders Mr. Charles E. Cowman and Mr. E. Kilbourne commenced OMS ministry in the year 1901 in Japan. In 1941 OMS began its work in India. It presently operates three Bible Seminaries, namely Allahabad Bible Seminary, Madras Theological Seminary & College and Calcutta Bible Seminary. The Evangelical Church of India also runs Bombay Bible School in Bombay, Freeman Bible School in Vijayawada, North India Bible Training Institute in Lalitpur, Orissa Bible School in Nowrangpur, Sadhu Sundar Singh Bible School in Solan, Karnataka Bible School in Gangavathy, Missionary Training Centre in Kozhivilai and Gujarat Bible School in Vyara. The first national church was planted somewhere in 1952. Till 1967-68 the OMS Field Executive Committee was in charge of the administration of the Church through their appointed national and missionary leaders. After 1969-70 amendments, ECI became fully autonomous and elected its own leaders and OMS withdrew their administrative control. Prior to 1976, the Society was called the Evangelical Christian Church and also came to be known as the Evangelical Christian Church of India and was officially changed to assume the present name Evangelical Church of India.
As part of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Evangelical Church of India (ECI), Kilpauk, Chennai, a Special Cover and ‘My Stamp’ were released by Charles Lobo, Chief Postmaster General, Tamil Nadu Circle on 1st June 2016 at YMCA in Nandanam, Chennai. (Special Cover approval no. TN/17/2016). Rev Dr. M. Ezra Sargunam, Bishop-president received the special Cover and My stamp.
Courtesy: Mahesh Parekh, Chennai | P. Anil Kumar, Thuckalay