PCI to hold an Expo to promote Philately among the youth

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Pune, December 4, 2019 : The Indian National Philatelic Exhibition (INPEX) 2019 organized by the Philatelic Congress of India (PCI) is slated to be held from 18-22 December 2019 at the World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai, India. This national competitive exhibition is expected to have close to 250 participants taking part. The objective of the exhibition is to promote philately among the youth as an educative and sporting hobby along with the excitement of winning National Medal awards.

While India today has the largest postal network in the world, did you know that an efficient system of communication existed in our country much before the first official stamp was released and the first ever post office was built?

A fascinating history
Well, we always had the system of mail or postal runners (called Dak or Dawk) who would walk for miles delivering posts from one village to another. Apart from letters, they carried spears and weapons as a guard against thugs, dacoits and wild animals they would encounter on their way! Mysore Anche was also a system of postal delivery dating back to 1672. It was started by Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar of Mysore state wherein letters and parcels were carried from one place to another. This finally merged with the imperial postal system in 1889.

While the first post office was established in Bombay by the East India company in 1764, the first postal stamp in India dates back to 01-Jul-1852. But it was only in 1854 that stamps for actual postage were used in India. Since then the world of post offices and stamps has grown exponentially with India having a whopping 155,015 post offices and innumerable number of stamps being released, used and circulated.

Often dubbed as the “king of hobbies” and also the “hobby of kings”, philately (which is the term for the collection and study of stamps), is an engaging and educative activity quite like none other. While it is not only about the thrill of pursuit in the process of adding that elusive stamp to your collection, stamp collecting is also about knowledge building, sharing the knowledge with fellow collectors and fostering friendships with other hobbyists which more often than not lasts for a lifetime.

With a view to promote and encourage philately, the Philatelic Congress of India (PCI) along with the active support of Department of Posts and other member Philatelic Societies, is organizing the Indian National Philatelic Exhibition (INPEX) in December this year. The event is also being held to commemorate 150 years of the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Open to the public, the admission to INPEX 2019 is free.

The exhibition aims to be a platform for Indian philatelists to not only participate in this national exhibition but also qualify for international participation. PCI is affiliated with the Federation Internationale de Philatelie (FIP) and the Federation of Inter-Asian Philately (FIAP).

The competition at INPEX 2019 is open all philatelists, who are resident in India and are members of PCI or its affiliated society and can submit exhibits which have earlier won the qualifying awards at District / National exhibitions. The exhibition is expected to have about 250 such exhibits all of whom will be classified further under different classes. The categories have been specified.

“It is indeed a wonderful opportunity for all collectors and we hope to increase awareness and encourage the youth to adopt philately as a hobby. The occasion is also a perfect platform to celebrate 150 years of Gandhiji. Since children are the future of our country, we have also arranged a section for school exhibits in which collections curated by its students shall be displayed in the name of the school” says Damyanti Pittie, President, PCI.

Activities Galore
There are several activities planned during INPEX 2019, many of which are focussed on the youth of the country and on budding philatelists. This includes a stamp quiz, stamp identification activities, treasure hunt, letter writing and folding activity and even a lucky draw. Philately basics will be taught for stamp collecting enthusiasts and this includes techniques for separating stamps from the paper using water, perforation identification using a perforation gauge, mounting, storage and watermark detection.

Apart from this there are seminars and workshops aimed at the youth, novice collectors and advanced philatelists with expert speakers from India and abroad. Apart from these, visitors can buy and sell stamps, philately books and accessories in dealer stalls and the India Post pavilion. They can also view and participate in the daily stamp auctions conducted by the leading stamp dealers of India.

Collectibles and take aways
A complete colour souvenir is planned to commemorate INPEX 2019. This book will contain articles written by eminent philatelists. Special postal covers and postal cancellation to commemorate the event will also be issued. In addition, an exclusive book dedicated to the legacy and heritage of stamp collecting in India will be released during INPEX 2019. It will contain the finest stamp collections of the members of the PCI and its affiliate bodies.

INPEX 2019 will be governed by the PCI, India Post and F.I.P. General Regulations for Exhibitions (GREX), General Regulation for Evaluation of Competitive Exhibits (GREV), Special Regulation for Evaluation of Exhibits (SREV) and Guidelines, and Special Regulations of INPEX 2019. Entries will be judged by an expert team of accredited Jury and Medal awards decided on the basis of marks obtained.