Recognition to philatelists
By: Naresh Kumar Agarwal, Bilaspur
It is a matter of great concern for the philatelic fraternity that in-spite of high honors bestowed by the FIP/ FIAP and other philatelic organizations/societies, a philatelist hardly gets any recognition in his own civil community. National or State Governments are hardly aware of the work done and the philatelic achievements of a philatelist who spends a huge time of his valued life in doing philatelic research and / or for the promotion of philately.
There are hardly any examples of felicitations of philatelists by any district civil administration what to talk of State or National. The question is why? Is philately stands less than the parameters set for other skills, sports, arts and crafts which are being recognized and given due appreciation and honor by the civil authorities and governments. Philately is not only a hobby nor a mode of recreation but it needs a big devotion, search - research and so is nothing less than a creativity which is reflected through the collections, philatelic work and exhibits which are exhibited in philatelic shows, in different forms done by a philatelist. Philately is considered as a big source of education but only through the creation of the philatelists. For me, philately is a skill, an art, a creation (craft), a sport…… and what not.
As I have been writing earlier, philatelic community needs to think upon it rigorously and knock the appropriate doors to see that this king of hobbies get a recognition as “Fine Art” or “Sport” too. We know that a stamp is considered as an ambassador of a country and what about the philatelists around whom the ambassador moves? Philately has established a bond of brotherhood among the nations. Then why the persons who keep the bond intact are ignored? I mean there is intense and serious need of thinking and action on this subject.
Leaving aside a few examples such as Mr. D. N. Jatia and Mr. Jal Cooper, there is hardly any philatelist who has been formally recognized by Indian Govt. or Civil administration. Mr. Jatia was reflected on a Souvenir Sheet titled as “Jewel of India” where as a stamp was issued showing Mr. Jal Cooper. There are so many other such jewels too who have not been recognized so far such as Mr. P. Gupta, Mr. G. B. Pai, Brigadier Virk, Mr. Dhirubhai Mehta, Col. L. G. Shenoi, Mr. C. D. Desai and few more who for me deserves civilian awards of the stature of “Padmashree Shree” but have been restrained to get honored only by philatelic fraternity only in India or abroad.
A recent trend has been set to give “Life Time Achievement” awards to some deserving philatelists by Indian Philatelic Societies. This is of course nice gesture to appreciate their work and efforts but for me it does not truly do justice to their stature. It lowers what they actually deserve. It is the civil administrations and governments who should give this honor.Well, it is very pleasing to note that two of the veteran philatelists from Uttrakhand named Mr. Abhai Mishra and Mr. Rajesh Verma were informally felicitated as were given “Kala Samaan” by the hands of Chief Minister of Uttrakhand in recognition of their philatelic work highlighting various aspects of Uttrakhand. Let it not be a regular honor but still it is recognition. What I mean to say let us start from getting recognized before we claim to be honored. We must look forward to explore the opportunities were philatelists can get proper recognition in civil community and authorities. We must properly use the media and means available to get this recognition. Once we start getting proper recognition, honor will follow automatically. While I congratulate both the philatelists who have not only made us proud, I wish other of my philatelist friends to get their desired recognition out side philatelic field and so the honor they deserve.