Keekli Reporter, 8th June, 2019, Shimla

Anything done with passion and love always bears fruits, as was seen during a full house of of enthusiastic kids who were eager to learn about the art of collecting stamps. A special Two Day Summer Camp has been organized by the Shimla GPO department, under the able guidance of the Himachal Philately Club President, Major (Dr) Ritu Kalra, who was further assisted by ardent philatelists Smriti Rana, Neelam Chandel, as well Ram Tirath Sharma from the department and Philately Bureau Incharge DD Sharma. School students aged between as young as 6 to 16 years were present to learn all about the world of stamps. The morning began on an interesting note as the kids were first and foremost apprised about the meaning of philately, history of stamps and its educational benefits.

A new window was opened by Major Ritu for the young kids with a step-by-step guide about how to collect stamps, how to handle them with care – with the use of gloves, tweezers, magnifying glass as well as stamp mounts, and how to safely keep them in stock books. She also informed the kids how various themes are used to collect stamps which are then finally used to make professional frames for participation in competitions. She emphasized that just showcasing a collection of stamps was not just enough but the children should do some research work and create few interesting concepts and ideas about how beautifully they could present their frames while keep the integrity of the stamp and theme intact. The kids’ present showed enthusiasm as they posed questions regarding various types and themes of stamps. (CLICK TO SEE ALL VIDEOS)

Adding value to the workshop Smriti Rana and Neelam Chandel both informed the kids about the educational value of the stamps as it open a world of general knowledge and showed them few unique and odd shaped stamps, which was a total surprise for the kids. Philately Bureau Chief D D Sharma inform the kids about the various competitions which the postal department was organizing name, Sparsh Yojna, Letter Writing Competition and the Stamo designing competition, through which the kids were awarded by cash prizes or scholarship programmes. He informed that the children had to be a member of the School Philately Club or open an independent PDA account at a very nominal cost to participate in the future events. The concept of MyStamp was also shared by the kids present by the chief. As an encouragement, quite a few brochures of stamps were distributed among the children.

Day two will yet be an another interesting day of the Workshop as children will participate in a stamp designing competition on the theme ‘Birds’ as well as receive a personalised tour of the Shimla Postal Department, its various sections and the overall working of the Department.

More than 70 students of the following schools were present at the workshop – CJM School, dayanand Public School, Auckland House Girls School, DAV School Lakkar Bazar, DAV New Shimla, St Thomas School, Loreto Convent Tara Hall, St Edwards, and KV Jakhoo – who would now participate in the competition tomorrow. Schools that already have a Philately Club are Dayanand, SD School Ganj, DAV New Shimla, Saraswati Vidya Mandir and KV Jakhoo.

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