The Oldest Philatelic Bureau Situated in Cuttack to be Closed
Bhubaneswar: The Ministry of Communications has decided to shut Philatelic Bureaus all over the country. As per the notification issued on July 8, 31 philatelic bureaus will be closed.
The decision has shocked to the philatelic community of Odisha as the Philatelic Bureaus at Cuttack and Sambalpur have been notified to be shut from July 12. The Cuttack philatelic bureau is the oldest one in the country established in 1948. It is a heritage bureaus among all the bureaus in India. It also houses a Postal Museum, the first of its type to have been set up in the state. While the bureau at Sambalpur was set up only in 2020.
Philatelists all over the country are protesting this decision as it will be a body blow for stamp collectors. While India Post has been promoting philately through various exhibitions, special covers and commemorative stamps issues and doling out Scholarships to budding philatelists, the closure of the philatelic bureaus will be counter productive.
According to Shanti Swarup Rath, the Secretary of the Eastern India Philatelists’ Association, this will be a body blow for stamp collectors. He has written to the authorities to reconsider the decision.
Eminent philatelist Anil Dhir, who has also written four acclaimed books on Postal History, is of the opinion that this is an irrational decision of the authorities, taken in haste after the new minister took charge. “Philately is a dying hobby and needs all the impetus support of the postal department. Rather than opening more bureaus to promote the hobby, closing the existing bureaus is not understood,” said Dhir.
Dhir further said that countries like China and Philippines have included Philately as a curriculum subject in schools, which should also be adopted in India. “India has one of the richest postal histories and traditions which should be cherished and propagated,” he said.
Shakeel Ahmed, a senior philatelist of Cuttack is of the opinion that if they want to close non-productive bureaus, then the Bhubaneswar and Sambalpur bureaus may be closed, but the historic and heritage Cuttack Philatelic Bureau, which will soon celebrate its 75th Anniversary should not be closed.