Special Cover on the Gangasagar Mela
Department of Posts, West Bengal Circle released a Special Cover on the Gangasagar Mela on 14.01.2020. The Mela is observed annually at Sagardwip island , where Lakhs of Pilgrims from across the Country come to take a dip at the confluence of the Holy Ganges and the Bay of Bengal. It is infact the 2nd biggest congregation of Hindus after the KumbhMela.
Festivities reach a climax on Makar Sankranti(January 14) when the Sun makes a transition into Capricorn from Sagittarius, and on this occasion taking a ritual bath is considered a source of salvation.
This Mela has ancient origins and is associated with the Legend of Kapil Muni and for centuries it has served as a Meeting Point for devotees from across the Country who share a common bond and identity.
Department of Posts had set up a special Post office at the Mela venue and it was here that the Special Cover was released by PMG Kolkata, Amitabh Singh.The MLA of GangaSagar and Chairman of Sundarbans Development Authority were also present on the occasion.
Six days long 9th State Level Philatelic Exhibition, Ekla Chalo Re, ended at Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta, on 21st November, 2019. The concluding session was marked by a release of a Philatelic Special Cover on an event where Mahatma Gandhi was associated with the city of Calcutta. In 1901, then Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, an young barrister of 32, attended the Congress session as an ordinary delegate. Delegates were made to stay at Ripon College, nowadays known as Surendranath College. Not many people knew Gandhiji at that time. However, Gandhiji noticed that the arrangement of the toilet in the venue was totally inadequate and the surrounding area became filthy after a day. Gandhiji made some futile attempts to motivate fellow delegates to take up the job of cleaning together. But not many responded positively. He himself then took up the broom to clean the surrounding. This instance of “Ekla Chalo Re” exhibits two traits of Mahatma’s character: priority of cleanliness and dignity of labour. The Special Cover released on the concluding day of the Philatelic exhibition highlighted this event.
Eminent Dancer, Choreographer and well known film artist Mamata Shankar was Chief Guest of the programme and she profusely appreciated the Department of Posts for organising such a wonderful exhibition focusing on life and works of Mahatma.
At the end of the programme, based on the recommendations of the Jury Board, Gold / Silver / Bronze Medals were conferred to the winners from the participants of the Competitive class. Nine participants were adjudged for Gold Medals. Also prizes were given in the concluding ceremony to the winners of Sit & Draw competition, Letter Box Painting competition and to the winners of Philatelic quiz.
CPMG, West Bengal Circle particularly thanked the Stamp lovers of the City in general and the Philatelists and the Stamp Collectors from all over India in particular, who exhibited their collections and made the Stamp Show so admirable to the connoisseurs in the City.
On August 15, 1947, when the entire nation was celebrating the hard earned independence at the national capital Delhi, Mahatma Gandhi opted to spend the day far away at Calcutta in a house called Hyderi Manjil in Beliaghata area of the city. “The situation of the city was extremely volatile in the wake of partition of India and all that had taken place in previous one year. Gandhiji realised the situation, came to the city on August 13, 1947 and spent few weeks at Hyderi Manjil, preaching communal harmony. This worked like a ‘miracle’ and this ‘one man army’ succeeded in diffusing all communal tension, prevented untoward incidents in this part of the country, whereas lakhs were killed in either side of Punjab” stated eminent historian Prof. Jahar Sen on the occasion of releasing a Philatelic Special Cover on the house that hosted Mahatma in his last visit to Calcutta, the Hyderi Manjil, now known as Gandhi Bhavan. The Cover was released at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, on the 5th day of the State Level Philatelic Exhibition, Ekla Chalo Re.
A Philatelic Special Cover on “Writers of Bengal ” was released on 20th November evening at the State Level Philatelic Exhibition, Ekla Chalo Re, at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata. The Philatelic Cover highlighted contribution of two great novelists of post Tagore era of Bengali literature, namely Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay and Manik Bandyopadhyay. Eminent writer Sh. Buddhadeb Guha who was the Chief Guest on the occasion, appreciated Department of Posts for taking efforts in honouring these two legendary writers of the State. Smt. Mitra Bandyopadhyay, the Daughter-in-law of Bibhutibhushan was present in the occasion on behalf of the Writer’s family.
Rabindranath Tagore was first to refer Gandhiji as “Mahatma” and Mahatma called Tagore as “Gurudev”, inspite of the fact that they had strong differences on ideas of Non-cooperation towards Colonial power. Whatever may be, these two great personalities of 20th Century perhaps influenced most in shaping the idea of modern India. Department of Posts released a Philatelic Special Cover on the 4th day of the State Level Philatelic Exhibition, Ekla Chalo Re, at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, on Mahatma and Tagore. Prof. Abhik Kumar Ray, Director, Centre for Gandhian Studies, Rabindra Bharati University spoke on the occasion.
A Philatelic Special Cover on “Legends of Sports” was released on 19th November evening at the State Level Philatelic Exhibition, Ekla Chalo Re, at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata. The Philatelic Cover highlighted contribution of three great sportsmen of independent India namely Sailen Manna (Football), Lesley Claudius (Hocky) and Pankaj Roy (Cricket). Former Captain of Indian National Hocky team Shri Gurbux Singh was the Chief Guest on the occasion and Sh. Subrata Bhattacharya, former Indian Football Defender was the Guest of Honour. Both of them appreciated the move of the Department of Posts and stated that by honouring these three legendary sports personalities of yesteryears, India Post in fact had honoured the entire sports fraternity.
Sh. Pranab Roy , former Indian Test Cricketer and son of Pankaj Roy and Smt. Nilanjana Manna, daughter of Sailen Manna were given Philatelic Albums containing the Special Cover released on the occasion.
Inspite of their differences in 1939, on the strategy to be adopted for intensifying the freedom struggle, the relation between Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was similar to that of a father and son. It was Subhas Chandra who had first referred Mahatma as the “father of our nation”, and Mahatma referred him as “patriot of the patriots” stated Sh. Pratik Ghosh, Director, Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya, Barrackpore, on the occasion of release of a Philatelic Special Cover on “Mahatma Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose” on the 3rd day of the State Level Philatelic Exhibition, Ekla Chalo Re, at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata.
A Philatelic Special Cover on “Melodies of Bengal” was released on 18th November evening at the State Level Philatelic Exhibition, Ekla Chalo Re, at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata. The Philatelic Cover highlighted contribution of four great singers of the Golden Era of Bengali Music, namely Dhananjay Bhattacharya, Satinath Mukhopadhyay, Shyamal Mitra and Manabendra Mukhopadhyay. Eminent singer Srikanto Acharya, on this occasion, appreciated the Department of Posts for taking efforts to honour four renowned singers of Bengal who still exist in the mind of the millions.
“The Phoenix Farm and the Tolstoy Farm of South Africa and subsequently developed Sabarmati Ashram and Wardha Ashram were the laboratories of Mahatma Gandhi where he tried to develop the essence of community living. In community life he always tried to inculcate those habits which were described as characteristics of a Vaishnab in his favourite Bhajan “Vaishnab Jana to ... “ In fact Tolstoy Farm had the maximum impact on transformation of a person from MK Gandhi to Mahatma Gandhi” explained Prof. Dr. Suparna Gooptu, Director Gandhian Studies, University of Calcutta, on the occasion of release of a Special Cover by the Dept. of Posts on the 2nd day of the State Level Philatelic Exhibition at Kolkata, Ekla Chalo Re. Smt. Gooptu stated that Mahatma always stressed on developing the inner self of a person and appreciating this priority of his life is essentially required to understand his political strategy and philosophy of life.
On the 2nd day of the State Level Philatelic Exhibition, Ekla Chalo Re, at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, a Letter Box painting competition was organised amongst School children. The idea was to sensitise children on importance of letter and letter box. But enthusiasm of the children and their creativity surpassed the expectation of the organisers.
Parallel to the 9th State Level Philatelic Exhibition at Kolkata, Department of Posts released a Special Cover on 17th November on the “Legacy of Tramways” to sensitise people on utility of this pollution free urban transport system. The Cover was released inside a Tram near the tent of the West Bengal Transport Corporation, in presence of Sh. Narayan Swaroop Nigam, IAS, Secretary, Transport Department, Govt. of West Bengal.
On 17th November evening, on the occasion of State Level Philatelic Exhibition, Ekla Chalo Re, at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, one Philatelic Special Cover was released by the Department of Posts, West Bengal Circle, on “Poets of Bengal”. The Special Philatelic Cover highlighted contribution of four major poets of Post-Tagore Bengali literature namely Jibanananda Das, Sudhindranath Dutta, Premendra Mitra and Subhash Mukhopadhyay. Eminent poet Joy Goswami was the Chief Guest on the occasion who profusely thanked the Department for taking measures in honouring these great poets in presence of their family members.
Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal inaugurated on 16th November morning the 9th Philatelic Exhibition, EKLA CHALO RE, at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata. He also released a Philatelic Special Cover on hundred years of “Young India”, the weekly journal that Mahatma Gandhi published from 1919-31, on this occasion.
On 16th November afternoon, on the occasion of State Level Philatelic Exhibition, Ekla Chalo Re, “Gandhi Corner” was set up in the Postal Museum at Kolkata GPO. Shri Arijit Dutta Choudhury, Director General of National Council of Science Museums was the Chief Guest on the occasion. After the inauguration successive events of Indian Freedom Struggle were highlighted by the children in the form of a Fashion Parade at Rotunda of Kolkata GPO.
On 16th November evening, on the occasion of State Level Philatelic Exhibition, Ekla Chalo Re, at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, two Philatelic Special Covers were released by the Department of Posts, West Bengal Circle, commemorating contribution of two legendary film personalities of India: Suchitra Sen and Rituparno Ghosh. The album containing the Special Cover on Suchitra Sen was handed over to her daughter Smt. Moon Moon Sen and the Philatelic Album containing the Special Cover on Rituparno Ghosh was handed over to her Sister-in-law, Smt. Dipanwita Ghosh. Eminent film critic Sh. Samik Bandyopadhyay was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Smt. Sudipta Chakraborti, eminent artist also spoke on the occasion.
West Bengal Postal Circle will pay it’s tribute to Mahatma Gandhi in his 150th Birth Anniversary by organising a State-level Philatelic Exhibition at Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata from November 16-21, 2019.
Releasing the Logo and the Prospectus of the Exhibition: “Ekla Chalo Re (একলা চলো রে) - West Bengal State Philatelic Exhibition”, in a function on 7th September 2019 at rotunda of Kolkata GPO, Shri Gautam Bhattacharya, Chief PMG of the Circle intimated that 33 Postal administrations all over the world have issued Postage Stamps to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma and 31 others have made a commitment to release it.
The exhibits, it was stated will be classified into two classes: Invitee class on Mahatma Gandhi and Competitive class on other Philatelic categories.