Monthly e-Stamp Bulletin edited and published by Jeevan Jyoti from Dehradun.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Rainbow September 2018

Date Palm tree - Symbol of Success and Prosperity


Date of Issue : 28 August 2018

Luav and Dates, Palm Fronds and Fibres, Roofed with Palm Frond Bases

Jews considered the date palm to be the perfect tree and wished for themselves that "the righteous bloom like a date palm". The three products mentioned in the midrash that tie the date palm to the Sukkot festival are featured on the stamps and the other three products appear on the stamp tabs. The Talmudic midrash explains the preferential status of the date palm tree and details the tree's good qualities: "As no part of the palm has any waste – the dates being eaten, the branches used for Hallel, the twigs for covering, the bast for ropes, the leaves for besoms and the planed boards for ceiling rooms – so are there none worthless in Israel".

Dehradun September  2018  Vol. XI  Issue No. 129

Readers are requested to send reports of philatelic activities in their area for publication. Short write ups by the readers about their journals, societies, publications and philatelic requirements can be sent for inclusion in this bulletin to the editor: 

Note- This bulletin is only for circulation among a limited group of philatelists without any commercial purpose. The bulletin will be sent to the readers only on request. Those who wish to receive it regularly please reply giving the name of your city / country with the subject SUBSCRIBE RAINBOW

Dear Reader,

I am pleased to present September 2018 issue of Rainbow Stamp News. It is my pleasure to publish  interview of a leading woman philatelist from Kolkata, Ms Eeshita Basu Roy with multiple interests in different fields. As a teacher and philatelist, She is promoting hobby of 'Stamp Collecting' in her own way among school children. She tells the story of her philatelic journey….

 For promotion of philately we should also encourage digital collection during philatelic workshops in schools . The children should be given different themes to prepare a digital collection. This will create interest for stamps in them. And later they will move for real stamp collection ! Thus we can get future philatelists and save this hobby.....

This is all for this month. More in next Issue!

Happy Collecting!


§  From the Desk of Naresh Agrawal
§  Recent Indian Issues
§  In The News
§  Interview
§  Doon Philatelic Diary
§  Editor’s Mail Box
§  Beginners’ Section
§  Rose Philately
§  Specialized Section 
§  New Issues from Other Countries
§  Philatelic Clubs and Society
§  Blogs & Websites on Philately
§  Current Philatelic Magazines – Newsletter


The mail in response to the editorial of . Jeevan Jyoti was well responded by our beloved  one of the most reputed philatelists in the world Mr. Sandeep Jaiswal, USA and as usual he honored us  by placing before us his view points in response to her worry about improvement of quality of exhibits and participation of new and novice  exhibitors in philatelic shows.

Mr. Jaiswal has placed his views giving how the practice of giving entry and to judge exhibits of new or novice participants in any show. A truly commendable approach he has. And while endorsing his views I dare to put before my observations, ideas and suggestions looking in to the practices prevailing in India.

Well, in India new and novice collectors are also introduced to different levels of exhibitions right from District Level to the National but I don’t find any specific guidelines for that. Believe me, some of the absolutely new exhibits are given entry in high level shows such as National and /or their entries are accepted for participation in International  at the discretion of  the exhibition committee and / or commissioner who genuinely some times are not competent enough to judge some particular exhibit or are  not  conversant with the contents and subject matter of the exhibit but for various other reasons the entries are accepted. Recommendations from President of the society are considered good enough in some cases.  In several International shows, the participation  applications from India were rejected in bulk. And in some shows the performance was poor not matching up with the International standards.

Let us take example of Thematic Philately. In thematic philately we are moving towards 5th generation exhibiting which requires place only and only for a hard core, veteran, keen, dedicated and a financially rich philatelist. No place for novice or new exhibitor there. I don’t condemn  the approach in any way but I ask for the most suitable well designed guidelines and the reasons. I agree this act certainly gives some novice or new participants  a chance to participate in such shows but all in all it defames the country and discourages the participant also. No doubt sometimes some of the new participants perform quite satisfactory but expecting high from new and novice is not appreciable. Going through proper channel step by step improves the exhibit properly and such exhibitors certainly perform better at high level shows later. One must understand that acquiring knowledge, doing search and research (even being quite friendly with the internet), search of appropriate material  takes time. And step by step exhibiting certainly helps one to improve, find out the areas where the exhibit lacks, better selection of material for display, improving the storyline  etc.. 

Group participation is good for introducing new and novice collectors but when it comes to individual participation, which of course is the practice at high level shows except school / institution entries; quality exhibits are in demand. Encouraging participation for new and novice exhibitors is good but careful and well planned permission for participation is required. We here in India see that such participation is not careful, organized and proper but  in most of the cases it is a favor or will of the organizer or the commissioner. Even new and novice should be chosen carefully looking in to the potential of the exhibitor, exhibit, collection and the scope to improve exhibitors.

Mr Jaiswal writes quote “In the past, frames were filled with powerful exhibits owned by the same few advanced senior philatelists, newcomers were rarely afforded the chance to exhibit. While this made for a great showing at the FIP and FIAP levels, the result was that we ended up discouraging new blood and that is precisely what has brought us to the current situation which you are complaining about.”unquote.

This is very true. In response to such practice of cemented place of powerful exhibitors at certain level of exhibition, I feel   a separate class for old exhibits of vermeil and above should be formed. This will check the competition of such exhibitor with  novice ones. Even participation for old higher award winners should be restricted to some extent which will give entry to other deserving ones but not to new and novice. Place for new and novice is at lower level.

He further writes that they actually encourage participation by new exhibitors in USA and suggests team participation in exhibitions with a system to award bonus points to new and novice collectors & also to first time entry. His intention and approach is certainly good  as it motivates collector  and exhibitor and helps them to turn into the senior advanced exhibitors which is being looked for.

It is not that in India new and novice participation is not encouraged. As I have already written that it is done to a big extent in India but there is no proper thoughtful methodology. And because of this we don’t see good number of quality exhibits emerging at higher level.  Competition amongst the members of a society and even  an open completion sets for new thoughts and strategies. Here in India the recognized competitions / exhibitions start from District, Regional, Zonal /Circle and finally  National level shows are conducted by DOP. Some reputed societies also conduct such shows under patronage of PCI, the federation of philatelists in India. But frankly speaking true and unanimously accepted judgment is hardly done when it comes to new collections / exhibitions. I mean, exhibit judgment also plays a big role in bringing up quality exhibits.

I also feel that the spirit of competitiveness not always improves the quality but it  only motivates a collector to turn in to  exhibitor and then to design his exhibit  to get award adopting any means. It is not the pleasure and joy of exhibiting but the joy of getting award which in fact is harmful for philately. Before discussing more, I would come back to the basis of conducting philatelic exhibitions. What exactly is the motto?. In one of my previous articles written a few years back, I had opined that philatelic completions are not competitions, these are just display. Each exhibit is different from the other. The story line of similar exhibit is different. All other aspects are different. Looking in to judging parameters no exhibit matches the other in terms of presentation, knowledge, rarity, development, study, research etc.

I further feel there should be  separate classes for first time entry & for new and novice collectors. Their judging parameters should be separately defined and  the  mark sheet too should be elaborative. The classes may be named as “First Time Entry Class” &  “New and Novice Collector Class”. The  first time entry may be in all levels but new and novice collector entry should be restricted to  lower level only. Only an exhibit  with  stipulated quality standard can go up and enter at high level.

Patience is  the key .Yes, every collector is novice and new in the beginning. Every one rises only when  chance is given. It takes time  for a novice collector to become a quality exhibitor. We must see that there  is system to check quality of exhibits before those are displayed in an exhibition. We must not forget some times, entry to the new and novice collector causes exit of a quality exhibit, which is not desirable.

In fact, we must not forget there is difference between collector and an exhibitor. It is good that both need to be encouraged. But it is collection which is done first before exhibiting. 

We should encourage new and novice collector & train and build new and novice exhibitor.

- Naresh Agrawal  Ph. 09425530514  - email :

Recent Indian Issue

7 August 2018 : Handlooms of India – 5 x Rs 5 + MS
15 August 2018 : Holiday Destination in India -2 x Rs 15 + MS
25 August 2018 :100 Years of Patna University – RS 5
29 August 2018 :India Armenia Joint Issue – Rs 25, Rs 5 + MS

Recent Special Cover

10 August  2018 - Kudanthaipex, Kumbakonam. Stone Nathaswaram.
10 August , 2018 - Kudanthaipex, Kumbakonam. Swamimalai Chola Bronze Statues - Nataraja postmark.
10 August  2018 - Kudanthaipex, Kumbakonam. Natchiyarkoil Lamp
11 August2018 - Kudanthaipex, Kumbakonam. Airavatesvarar Temple, Darasuram. UNESCO heritage temple.
11 August 2018 : Kudanthaipex, Kumbakonam. Famous Degree Coffee.
15 August , 2018 :  Mahathma Gandhiji's 150th birth anniversary & arrival of Gandhi ji at Tiruchirappalli on 18.09.1927

29 August 2018 : Special cover on founder of Lilavati Hospital. Kirtilal M Mehta and Lilavati K Mehta 

1 September 2018 : India Post Payments Bank

In The News


This philatelic exhibition will be held from June 8th to June 10th 2019 in Mondorf-les-Baines (Luxembourg).

Indian Philatelists and from other countries are  invited for apartipication in this important philatelic exhibition.

For more details visit :

Courtesy: Mr .Roger Thill, Philcolux and Mr. Wolfgang Beyer, German Philatelic Federation

 Porcelain stamp released for Praga 2018

Unique Porcelain stamps were issued in limited number for PRAGA 2018. Porcelain postage stamp "PRAGA 2018" was produced in 500 pieces for the Specialized World Stamp Exhibition PRAGA 2018 and another 600 on the name for Czech Philatelic Union. On the photo is seen a few of these stamps in porcelain factory in Dubi, Czech Republic.

Credit: Libor Zavoral/CTK Photo/Alamy Live News

These bright Porcelain philatelic items are of the size of a credit card  and have all the characteristics of an average stamp like perforations, the number of the series and the name that are indicated at the bottom.

Madhukar Jhingan   elected Board Member of IFSDA

 Mr. Madhukar Jhingan was elected to the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Stamp Dealers Association at its Annual General Meeting in Prague on Aug 16, 2018.Madhukar is the second Indian ever to be elected to a world philatelic body after D N Jatia who retired as the President of International Philatelic Federation in 1998.

PRAGA 2018, Specialized World Stamp Exhibition was held at the Clarion Congress Hotel Prague from August 15-18,2018. More than 1500 frames are on display in this exhibition.

Heartiest Congratulations !!

Indian Winners at PRAGA 2018

Pragya Kothari Jain, Rajan Jayakar, Markand Dave

Pragya Kothari receiving Medal

Gold Medal with Special Prize - Pragya Kothari Jain - A Study of the First Issues of India (1852-1854) - 92 Marks

Large Silver - Rajan Jayakar - Dead Letter Offices in India till 1947 - 75 Marks

Silver Bronze - Marakand Dave -  The 1989 Airmail Stamps of India - 65 Marks

Bronze - Ramkrishna Doddaballapur - Indian Stamps featuring personages from Abroad -  62 Marks

View : Complete   Award List


Commemorative postmark depicting Taj Mahal in Black and in Blue provided at India Post’s Sales Booth in PRAGA 2018 World Stamp Exhibition.


Salon at 29th International Stamp Fair, Essen, Germany
May 9-11, 2019.
An international exhibition, devoted solely to fiscal philately, will be organized in cooperation by the FIP Revenue Commission, Arbeitsgemeischaft Fiscalphilatelie im BDPh e.V. (German Society for Fiscal Philately), and International Stamp Fair Essen. As this is the first time such a special revenue exhibition will be held, the Salon takes place with a non-competitive basis. However, every exhibitor who wishes will get an exhibit evaluation by a group of experienced jurors. The expected size of the Salon will be 200 frames. The frames accommodate 12 album pages and not 16, please note. Exhibits of 1 to a maximum of 10 frames may participate. The charges are Euro 18 per frame.
Please download the first Bulletin and Application form of the exhibition and participate from
.Anil Suri is coordinating the participation from India and will carry the exhibits to and from the exhibition and obtain necessary governmental permissions.

Source : Stamps of India

Recent Stamp Exhibitions


THAILAND 2018 is an extraordinary world stamp exhibition organized by the Philatelic Association of Thailand under the Patronage of H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn from November 28 to December 3, 2018 at the Royal Paragon Hall, Siam Paragon, Bangkok, Thailand on the auspicious occasion of the First Anniversary Celebration of H.M. King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s Royal Coronation Ceremony. The 75th Congress of the International Philatelic Federation (FIP) will also be held at THAILAND 2018.
Mr. Madhukar Jhingan is the National Commissioner for India.

email :  Ph.  +919811160965
MACAO 2018 Philatelic Exhibition (FIAP)
Mr. Anil Suri is Indian National Commissioner for the MACAO 2018, FIAP Specialized Stamp Exhibition to be held in Macao, Macau from 21 to 24 September 2018.
Phone: (Res.) +91-11-2643 0813 / (Off.) +91-11-2647 4681
(M): +919811176908

"Dhai Akhar" Letter Writing Campaign by India Post – 2018

10th State level Philatelic Exhibition of Odisha Circle, Odipex – 2018 will be held from 15th December  to 17th December 2018. About 500 exhibition frames will be displayed and more than 20 stamp dealers would participate.


Eeshita Basu Roy comes from a philatelist family .Her father is a philatelist and her husband Mr Souvik Roy is also a noted philatelist. She has developed her collection in a beautiful way. It is our pleasure to share her views on several aspects of philately. She reveals her journey in an interview taken by Mr Naresh Agrawal. - Editor

Interview with Eeshita Basu Roy

Mrs. Eeshita Basu is an Artist, Numismatist, Dancer and an avid Philatelist. She is a senior teacher in a leading school of Kolkatta and hales from a family of highly literates with her mother a teacher, father a retired scientist  and husband  is a marketing strategy  who too is a collector of antiques and stamps.

She believes in the ideology “Bloom where you are planted”. And so she has developed and blossomed herself in to a person with multifarious personality and helps all the persons associated with her to blossom. She is a Kathak Dancer, Painter, Gardener, Musician, Philatelist  and  a person with several personality traits. As a philatelist she has huge philatelic thematic collections on different themes and has participated in several philatelic exhibitions and conducted several philatelic solo shows and workshops. She is a hardcore philatelist who not only loves to be with the stamps but also works for development of philately. She  is member of several philatelic societies and a philatelic writer also.

It is privilege to have interview of such person who speaks out from heart and shares her views openly. Eeshita Basu may be contacted at email : 

1.    Your childhood has been very attractive as you were interested in many activities which of course, helped in molding you in to a lady of multifarious personality. Please tell us something about your childhood activities and hobbies.

My childhood days were filled with dance, music, painting, embroidery, gardening and many such interesting things to do along with academics having its major share after dance. I was a Kathak dancer.

Eshita Basu and Sauvik Roy

2.    Talking about philately, when and how you got in to philately and when you started looking philately as a regular part of your life?

My vacations were mostly filled up with something strange to do, it was going through the thick fat files of my father’s stamp collection. Also during those days one of my friends gave me her sister’s complete collection. This was my initial introduction with stamps. Observing them was the main hobby which then became a passion very soon. My stay at Moscow U.S.S.R. accelerated the process.

3.    Do you still pursue any other hobby or art other than philately? How do you manage your time?

Apart from stamp I also collect coins mainly UNCs . I had an exhibition of my coins at BITM, (Birla Industrial and Technological Museum) KOLKATA in 2015 and recently in “MUDRA“ a coin exhibition at The Heritage School, 2018.
My other collectibles are Autographs, Records, Kites, Books, Catalogues, Picture Postcards, Modern Beads, Dolls, Bookmarks , etc .
There is a saying – if there is a will , there is a way , so when one does anything out of will time is automatically managed. 

Philatelist Family :  Eeshita  Basu Roy with her father Shri Saya Brata Basu and  husband Shri Souvik Roy 

4.    We understand your father is also an avid stamp lover. Tell us in brief something about him and also his influence on your life?

My father Sri Satya Brata Basu a retired Scientist of C.S.I.R. (C.F.R.I. Digwadih, Dhanbad), Govt. of India,  also collects stamps and coins, records, antiques etc. His garden is worth mentioning where  he has plants bearing Rudraksha fruit, and has lotus blooming up on the terrace garden along with a rare collection of other plants, cactus and bonsais .

5.    You are a teacher by profession. Tell us something about your teaching stream and how do you promote philately along with academics?

By profession I am a teacher for nearly twenty years, teaching Computers and Science and upgrading the knowledge of my students in General knowledge and  also Philately. I am presently  associated with one of the most prestigious schools of Kolkata ,The Heritage School.

6.    We have heard about a wonderful quote of your father “  In life you will earn and spend a lot of money, but do invest in some creative way “. How did the quote affect you and your philatelic journey?

Yes, after completing my graduation I joined job very soon as an asstt. Teacher . My father said , in life you will earn and spend a lot of money, but do invest in some creative way. So with the first salary of my life my first philatelic account was opened in Kolkata 1993. Since then my personal collection of stamps started. It has been a long journey since then.

7Your philatelic journey which shaped you from a mere stamp collector to a philatelist has been very interesting. A brief note on the journey such as your participation in exhibitions, persons who guided you in enriching and shaping you, The collecting and displaying interests.. etc.

My first exhibition was at  Durpex 2002, followed by few district and local level exhibitions. It was  the time when I was learning the difference between stamp collecting and philately. Under the proper guidance from Sri  Dipok Dey and Sri Basudev Ganguli ,my collection started changing form and took a proper shape and was exhibited in Stamp Show, Kolkata 2005; my first state level exhibition. I was awarded diploma for my collection “CACTUS”. Along with my father and the above mentioned renowned philatelists , the other most influencing person of  my life  is my husband Sri Souvik Roy who himself is a philatelist ,a numismatist, and also a philluminist, and above all a collector. With him , the journey of life is wonderful. My mother Smt. Mukti Basu  is the main backbone behind all my activities.

8.    “Philately for Joy” has always been the motto of this hobby. But of late, the motto has changed to “Philately for investment”. How do you react to this? We understand, because of this fact and  also other social changes in life styles, emergence of new communication and entertainment means, social media; now philately is going in to shell. What do you say?
I work with mostly kids, especially school students . So for them I do not see Philately as an investment . It is mainly for knowledge purpose apart  from the joy of collecting . In today’s world when social changes are affecting our life styles, this hobby helps children to cope up with many problems . They can fight loneliness with this hobby. It increases their confidence level as their knowledge base increases . It increases their concentration level, and also to think  critically.  It also gives them a sense of possessiveness. It is only on the shoulders of the elders to actually find out how a child is to be exposed to the new world neglecting one’s  heritage or have it together. 

9.    How do you look at “Stamp collecting” and “Stamp Exhibiting”?
I have always preferred “Stamp exhibiting” over Stamp collecting . Mere collecting few stamps and counting numbers does not help in enhancing the Knowledge of any person. It must be displayed in a presentable   way which demands a lot of involvement, a lot of research work is needed. Presentation skills are also very important. If an exhibit is made out of any  collection, it includes both thematic knowledge and philatelic knowledge . The amalgamation is the real beauty.

10. Your Comments on future of philately in India and your suggestions to promote philately and improve the scenario.
The  future of philately in India is in the hands of the young philatelists. So I feel more and more  students  should be collecting and preserving history for the future generations to come . They have to be educated more to build up this hobby and make this  their passion .

11. We know, in India, ladies are more occupied than men. But still there are very good and renowned female philatelists in India. Your appeal to female segment of all ages to be part of philately.
“Bloom where you are planted.” I strongly believe in these words. Women now have proved beyond doubt that they can excel in any and every field they are given responsibility. So as a women philatelist I feel more and more responsible to  show the society our views through the story telling using stamps. Actually  more and more collectors should  prove their worth. 

12. Finally, your appeal to young budding stamp collectors.
Yes , this is very important .Start collecting , but first be focused as to what really interests you , then concentrate on the specific topic. Do actually  gain knowledge and do everything with your heart in it only then you succeed.  And the mantra to success is do something every day . Drop by drop even the ocean fills.

-  Interview : Naresh Agrawal

Doon Philatelic Diary

Swami Sivananda Saraswati

- Abhai Mishra

Swami Sivananda was born as Kuppuswamy on 8th September 1887 in Tamil Nadu. His father Sri. PS Vengu Iyer was a revenue officer and staunch devotee of Lord Shiva. During the childhood Kuppuswamy was very bright and intelligent and showed his affection for all living beings. He was very much moved by the condition of poor and hungry people. He used to give his food to the needy people. After completing matriculation he went to S.P.G. College, Tiruchirapalli. Later he joined the Medical School at Tanjore to study medicine. He completed the course in flying colours and started practicing in Tiruchi. He even started medical journal with the name “The Ambrosia”.

In 1913 he went to Malaya and joined the Hospital in a Rubber Estate. Soon he became very popular due to his hard work and utmost dedication towards his patients. There he met a Sadhu who gave him “Jiva Brahma Aikyam” written by Sri Swami Satchidananda. This stirred the spirituality within him. He started reading various religious scriptures and practicing Yoga. Though he was enjoying a very lucrative practice he renounced the world and left Malaya coming back to India in 1923.

After landing at Madras, he started his pilgrimage from Benares. He met Mahatmas and Sadhus and had darshan of Lord Vishwanath. He stayed at the house of a postmaster in Dhalaj, a small village at the bank of river Chandrabaga. He cooked food and did odd jobs for the postmaster. The postmaster advised him to go to Rishikesh for meditation. He reached Rishikesh in 1924 and became disciple of Sri Swamy Visvananda Saraswati. The Guru named the doctor Swami Sivananda Saraswati. He stayed at Swargashram for penance. He performed intense Tapa and Sadhana, renouncing all the worldly matters. He started a charitable dispensary at Lakshman Jhula in 1927 where he served the ailing pilgrims. He attained and enjoyed Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

In the year 1936 he founded The Divine Life Society at Rishikesh. It was started from a dilapidated Kutir having four rooms. It was registered as a trust in 1936 with the main objects of dissemination of spiritual knowledge and selfless service of humanity. He started the Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy in 1945 and the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy in 1948. In 1957 Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was rejected at the AFSB, Dehra Dun. Dejected he went to Rishikesh. Swamy Sivananda told Kalam, “Accept your destiny and go ahead with your life. You are not destined to become Air Force pilot. What you are destined to become is not revealed now but is predetermined. Forget the failure, as it was essential to lead you to your destined path. Search, instead, for the true purpose of your existence”.

He attained Maha Samadhi on 14th July 1963, at his very own Kutir on the bank of Ganges.
- Abhai Mishra : email :

Editor’s Mail Box

Dear Mrs. Jyoti,

First and foremost, please allow me to congratulate you on putting out a wonderful journal every month.

In response to your question as to what should be done to bring up the quality of exhibits, my response is a simple one: please be patient, Rome was not built in a day !!!!!

In the past, frames were filled with powerful exhibits owned by the same few advanced senior philatelists, newcomers were rarely afforded the chance to exhibit. While this made for a great showing at the FIP and FIAP levels, the result was that we ended up discouraging new blood and that is precisely what has brought us to the current situation which you are complaining about.

Here, in the USA, we actually encourage participation by new exhibitors. 

I run the APS's annual Team Competition where five exhibitors apply as a team. Teams are placed based on the total points they score. In order to encourage participation of new exhibitors I have structured the competition so that bonus points are awarded for each novice exhibitor and bonus points are awarded for each new exhibit. This is how we, here in the USA, encourage new exhibitors to exhibit. In the long run, these very new exhibitors will someday turn into the senior advanced exhibitors that you are currently seeking.

Five years ago, I put together four India Study Circle teams and our teams ended up placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th; we swept the competition. I had recruited several novice exhibitors for these four teams. Today, many of those very novice exhibitors have turned in "Large Gold" winning exhibitors.

The point I am trying to make is that participation by novice exhibitors needs to be encouraged, they are the future of philately !!!

- Sandeep Jaiswal, USA

Beginners’ Section

Stories behind stamps

The Stamps That Tried to take a Bite out of Crime

Ah, the Roaring Twenties. It was a prosperous decade filled with jazz and speakeasies. Of course, it was also an era alive and well with slick crooks such as "Machine Gun" Kelly and "Pretty Boy" Floyd—criminals who loved robbing post offices and mail shipments. That's precisely why, in 1929, the federal government began producing these special stamps. Starting with Kansas and Nebraska, the stamps were marked, or overprinted, with state abbreviations and were only available for purchase in that state of origin. And although they were accepted as postage in all states, the overprinted stamps were designed to make it more difficult for crooks to take stolen stamps across state lines to unload them. Theoretically, large numbers of the out-of-state stamps would make prospective buyers and postal inspectors suspicious.
In practice, however, the overprints seem to have done little to deter postal crime. The program was never expanded to other states and was abandoned shortly after the overprinted issues sold out. In fact, the Kansas-Nebraska issues inspired more illegal activity. As soon as the last of the genuine overprints were sold, counterfeiters began taking ordinary 1920s' U.S. stamps, adding phony "Kans."and "Nebr."overprints and pawning them off to stamp collectors.
Interestingly, the overprinting idea made a short comeback during World War II. In early 1942, the U.S. government feared a Japanese attack might overrun Hawaii, so it began circulating paper money overprinted with "Hawaii." That way, if the Japanese had captured Hawaii, the bills could have been declared void and would have been of no financial use to the enemy.

The Stamp That Made CEOs Happy

The filching of office supplies is a longstanding employee tradition. It probably dates to the days when Babylonian scribes were swiping clay tablets and cuneiform styluses. But in the 19th century, stamps were the stolen office supply of choice. Not only could workers use them for free postage, but—at the time—stamps were sometimes accepted as payment for small purchases. To curb employee enthusiasm for stealing, companies began using perfins (short for "perforated initials") to mark ownership of their stamps. That way, if perfin stamps were used on private mail, they could easily be identified as stolen property. Likewise, stores would refuse to accept any stamps with perfins as payment. First authorized in Britain in 1868, perfins were introduced to America in 1908

Source : Mental Floss

In Memory of Dr Satyendra Agrawal….

Rose Philately

Specialized Section

U.S. Parcel Post stamps of 1912–13

-Col J Dutta & Dr Anjali Dutta

The US Congress approved new fourth class rates for parcels on August 24, 1912, and these new rates were to be prepaid by distinctive parcel-post stamps. The new parcel postage stamps were shipped to post offices in December 1912, though they were not supposed to be officially used until January 1, 1913.  There was no prohibition on the early sale of these new US stamps, and many of them were used during December 1912.  As of January 1, 1913, regular definitive postage stamps were no longer allowed to be used for mailing parcels.  The U.S. Parcel Post stamps of 1912–13 were the first such stamps issued by the U.S. Post Office Department and consisted of twelve denominations to pay the postage on parcels weighing 16 ounces and more, with each denomination printed in the same colour of "carmine-rose".  Their border design was similar while each denomination of stamp bore its own distinctive image in the center (vignette).  Unlike regular postage items, whose rates were determined by weight in ounces, Parcel Post rates were determined and measured by increments in pounds. The new stamps were soon widely used by industry, farmers and others who lived in rural areas.  Partly owing to some confusion involving their usage, their exclusive use as Parcel Post stamps proved short lived, as regular postage stamps were soon allowed to be used to pay parcel postage rates.  On July 1, 1913, the Postmaster General ruled that regular definitive postage stamps would be valid for use on parcels and that the current parcel post stamps would now be valid as regular definitive postage stamps on letter mail.  The parcel post stamps remained on sale, but no further printings were ever made.  The last of the unsold remainders were destroyed in 1921.  The fact that the period of mandatory usage of these parcel post stamps only lasted about six months attests to their scarcity today, even in used condition.

Before 1912 the delivery of parcels was controlled and handled by private companies, most of whom operated in cities and urban areas where there was more business to be had.  Consequently, delivery of parcels to rural areas was inadequate and frequently hindered farmers who needed various supplies, parts and equipment delivered to their remote locations.  To meet this demand Congress approved a law on August 24, 1912 creating postal rates for fourth class mail and providing for parcel post service.  The Congressional law authorized the U.S. Post Office to produce the various special purpose postage stamps to pay the parcel fees, which became effective on January 1, 1913, the first day the U.S. Parcel Post began service.

The 12 stamps were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on the flat plate printing press on soft yellowish wove paper made with a single-line watermark bearing the letters 'U S P S' and were perforated with 12 gauge perforations.  The stamps were designed by Clair Aubrey Houston who at the time had worked at the Bureau for ten years, while the dies for the individual stamps were produced by several different engravers, with up to four engravers working on each die.  The Post Office initially planned to place all dozen stamps on sale before parcel post service began, but Frank Hitchcock, the Postmaster General, deemed the original designs for the 3-cent, 50-cent and 75-cent denominations unsatisfactory, delaying the issue of those values until after the first of the year.

Frank Harris Hitchcock (October 5, 1867 – August 25, 1935)
Postmaster General of the United States 1909-1913

Two horse drawn Parcel Post delivery wagons

The twelve stamps each bore their own distinctive subject in the vignette and were issued in a single color, "carmine-rose".  It was Hitchcock who came up with the idea of printing all the denominations of these stamps in one uniform colour.

However, because of the common colour and similarity in border design Parcel Post stamps during the first six months of use were met with mixed reaction from postal personnel who had difficulty distinguishing the stamps at a glance and often confused the denominations, especially during busy hours.  "In an effort to help the stamp clerks an inscription of value in large plain capital letters was added to the sheet margin, next to each plate number. These were first added to plates on January 27, 1913."An example of these large red spelled-out numbers, which appeared on two margins of each pane, can be seen on the illustration of the 10-cent plate block in the section "Other configurations" further down this page.

First Parcel Post stamps issued by the U.S. Post Office, 1912-13

To compound the situation the stamps were larger than ordinary definitive stamps of the period, making it difficult to situate them on smaller parcels with limited space around the address and return address.

Size comparison of Parcel Post stamp with a definitive stamp

They were also issued in sheets of 180, with four panes of 45 stamps per sheet, which was an inconvenient number for accounting purposes.  By March the Postmaster General was considering using different colors for the individual stamps and a smaller, definitive-sized design (for which plates of the 1 cent, 2 cent and 5 cent denominations were even engraved). Production of the Parcel Post sheets cut into 45 stamps each resulted in a somewhat higher percentage of stamps with straight edges (see image below) than other stamp productions, much to the disappointment of collectors at the time.  Some philatelic publishers like Stanley Gibbons were rather unforgiving in their estimation of these new issues, referring to them as "very useless stamps" having an "ugliness" about them.  European post offices had been offering parcel post service for decades but in America during those years, as Max Johl observed, the express company interests had successfully fought such legislative action.  What finally defeated this opposition were the well-funded lobbying efforts of Sears Roebuck, other prominent mail-order companies and large department stores.  The new government operated parcel delivery service was perceived as a threat to the business of private delivery companies, such as the Wells-Fargo Express, who consequently lobbied heavily against the Post Office while it was still in the process of establishing itself in the lucrative parcel delivery business, but they were ultimately unsuccessful.

Special stamps were printed for Parcel Post service to help in the effort of keeping accounts and revenues generated from general postage and the Parcel Post separately.  The denominations were such that any amount of postage up to one dollar could be made by using no more than three stamps.  Three of the Parcel Post denominations − 20 cents, 25 cents and 75 cents − were new to U. S. Postage.

The twelve Parcel Post stamps had three basic design themes that were associated with the Post Office and its delivery service.  The first four stamp denominations of 1, 2, 3 and 4 cents had vignettes that featured various postal workers who processed or delivered the mail.  The 4-cent stamp featured the Nebraskan mail carrier and Medal of Honour recipient William Haliday Williams.

The second set of four stamps of 5, 10, 15 and 20 cents depicted the various transportation methods for delivering the mail.  The 20-cent U.S. Parcel Post stamp of 1912 had the distinction for being the first postage stamp in history to depict an airplane (identified as an "aeroplane"), six years before the U.S. Post Office Department issued stamps for airmail service.  The steamship depicted on the 10-cent stamp is the SS Kronprinz Wilhelm with a mail tender along its starboard side in New York Harbour.

The last set of four had the highest denominations − 25, 50, and 75 cents and 1 dollar − and depicts the various industries which primarily would be using this new service.  The 25-cent stamp features an actual steel plant in South Chicago during that period.  The three highest denominations, for which demand was limited, were issued in much smaller quantities than the other stamps, particularly the dollar value.

Dates of issue and quantities

Postage due stamps of 1912: In conjunction with Parcel Post stamps, Congress approved an act on August 24, 1912, for postage due stamps which were issued at the same time the parcel post stamps were issued, to be used when inadequate postage was affixed to a parcel. Postage due stamps were affixed by the Postmaster whose amount was paid by the addressee.

During the first half year of its inception the Parcel Post service, with its new series of special stamps, proved to be very successful, consequent to the mailing of more than 300 million parcels during this short period.  But after much confusion among and pressure from postal workers, the Post Office Department acquiesced and the Postmaster General authorized the use of ordinary postage stamps to pay the postage on 4th class parcels, beginning on July 1, 1913, ending the mandatory use of the new stamps after precisely six months.  In turn Parcel Post stamps were allowed for use to pay the postage for all classes of mail until the supply finally ran out.  This is the only series of stamps issued by the Post Office that have ever been allowed dual usage.  The last printing of Parcel Post stamps, a run of the 10-cent value, occurred on June 24, 1913, but stamps still in stock continued to be shipped to post offices for quite some time, particularly of higher values, with the final delivery − a supply of 75-cent stamps − made as late as 1921.  Although the stamps were discontinued, one new denomination of the series − 20 cents − was deemed too useful to discard, and a 20 cent value was accordingly added to the existing definitive Washington-Franklin series.

With the termination of Parcel Post stamps the need for Parcel Post Postage Due stamps also ended.  They had seen little use since most parcels were properly weighed and paid for at post offices.  But in a way analogous to the Parcel Post issues they were retained by postmasters and used as regular postage due stamps until the supplies were exhausted. Some were employed well into the 1920s. The 25-cent denomination was of particular use since there was no correspondingly valued regular postage due stamp.

The Parcel Post stamps of 1912–13 were printed on the flat plate press which yielded plate blocks of six stamps with the plate number designated in the margin (designating a particular printing run). Beginning in January 1913, the denomination of the stamps was printed in word form in the margin.

Plate block of six stamps

A special printing of the 1912–13 Parcel Post stamps was made for the Panama-Pacific Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915 from the dies that made the printing plates for this series of stamps. They are referred to as Die Proofs and were printed directly from the die on soft yellowish wove paper one at a time.  Consequently die proofs have no perforations around them.

Selected Parcel Post die proofs


1. Beverly King, Max Johl, (1935). The United States Postage Stamps of the Twentieth Century, Volume III
2. Paul K McCutcheon, ed. (2014).  Parcel Post: Delivery of Dreams.  Smithsonian Institution.

- Col J Dutta & Dr Anjali Dutta - email :

Indian Prisoners of War in Germany after Rommel’s first offensive in April 1941 

-Marc Parren

Libya was the stage on which a number of crucial World War Two battles were fought. The wars of North Africa are thought to have been part of the campaign to control the Suez Canal, and began as early as October 1935 when Italy invaded Ethiopia. This induced Egypt to grant Great Britain permission to bring large forces into the country. When Germany invaded France in June 1940 Benito Mussolini joined in and declared war on Great Britain and France. The Italian Tenth Army advanced into Egypt on 13 September 1940 on what was code named Operation E. Italy’s advance to Sidi el Barrani, Egypt, in September 1940 was followed by a period of inactivity. However, fearing a German invasion in Europe, the British were in no immediate rush to counter the Italian move. But after an additional 126,000 Commonwealth troops arrived in Egypt from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and India, the Western Desert Force counterattacked the Italians in December under the code name Operation Compass. Eventually this led the British to push the Italian Tenth Army out of Egypt, and finally to score a major victory at Bardia, and subsequently take Tobruk. By February 1941 the Italian Tenth Army surrendered and Libyan Cyrenaica fell to the British. In early 1941 German forces arrived to sustain the Italian forces to avoid a total collapse and take over the initiative again. In March, the Axis forces, under the command of the German general Erwin Rommel, attacked Cyrenaica and cut off the British troops at Tobruk; only for it to be regained by the British Eighth Army commander general Claude Auchinleck in November.

The British 2nd Armoured Division confronted Rommel’s advance in March-April 1941. The division had arrived in January and February of 1941, but had been cannibalised to bring 7th Armoured up to strength, and then cannibalised again to outfit an armoured brigade group for service in Greece. What was left was a shadow division. When Rommel’s offensive began, the 3rd Indian Motor Brigade was under the command of this division, and the following units formed the brigade:

3rd Indian Motor Brigade (attached)

18th King Edward VII’s Own Cavalry (motor battalion)
2nd Royal Lancers (Gardner’s Horse) (motor battalion)
Prince Albert Victor’s Own Cavalry (motor battalion)
35th Field Company, Bengal Sappers and Miners
2/3rd Australian Anti-Tank Regiment

The brigade was a new arrival to the desert, arriving at about the same time as the Axis offensive began. Nominally it was an independent motorized cavalry brigade, but was attached to 2nd Armoured Division in an effort to strengthen it. The brigade had no antitank guns, no carriers, and few radios, but morale was high and it was tactically mobile. It was initially deployed at El Adem, but was sent forward to Mechili on April 3rd. One regiment (18th Cavalry) remained at El Adem, but the brigade was joined at Mechili by M Battery, 3rd Royal Horse Artillery (anti-tank), which had just arrived from Egypt, as well as by the headquarters of 2nd Armoured Division. This gave the brigade two light motorized infantry battalions and three anti-tank batteries (36 guns total), but no field artillery. On the 5th April the first Axis troops arrived near the fort – mostly infantry of Colonna Santamaria and German antitank guns of Vorausabteilung Schwerin – but the initial attack was easily driven off. More Axis troops arrived on following days and the encirclement tightened. As it became clear that no friendly troops would be available to extricate the brigade, and that the plan to concentrate the armoured division at Mechili had gone completely off the rails, the division commander decided to break out on the morning of the 8th April. The forward troops managed to break out and make their way back to Tobruk, but the brigade and division headquarters, along with eight of the antitank guns and many of the troops, were captured.

Three of the Indian men captured by the Axis troops ended up in Oflag 54 (officers’ camp) at Annaburg in Wehrkreis IV near Dresden in Germany. Oflag 54 (IVE) opened in April 1941, most likely in response to the flux of POWs originating from North Africa, and was closed in May 1942. Sometimes other grades were kept as well in the Oflag, who served as orderlies.  Dumb date cancellers were applied on mail originating from German Third Reich Prisoner of War camps for security reasons and each camp had its own specific (design) censorship marks. For Oflag 54 (IVE) it was a double circle type with the camp name between stars at the top, and ‘f. U. geprüft’ (censored) at the bottom with the censor number in the middle.

The cards illustrated below were sent to the International Red Cross just after arrival to inform their relatives of their (sound) arrival at the camp.

1.  Cook with the 35th Field Company, Bengal Sappers and Miners written on the 23rd June, cancelled with the dumb date canceller on the 26th of June and censored by no 1.

  1. Sapper with the 35th Field Company, Bengal Sappers and Miners written on the 22nd of June, cancelled with the dumb date canceller on 26 June and censored by no 3. 

3.Corporal with the 2nd Royal Lancers written on the 28th of June, cancelled with the dumb date canceller on the 4th July, and censored by no  5.

About the author : Marc Parren is a renowned philatelic author. He has written several books  on Postal History. He is the recipient of the prestigious Harry Cope Memorial 2010 Award for Literature .  He received this award jointly with Dr Rodger G Evans, Dr David Ball, Mr Alan Green for The Postal History of Malta 1939-1945. Mr Marc Parren may be contacted at email : 

India’s Postal History from the Feudal Era to Independence, 1947

-Swamynathan R.

Part 7a(Postal System from 1873-1947)

Mails between India and Britain

Introduction to International Mail routes

Historically, India had trade relations between Europe(Rome) through Read Sea and Asia through Persian Gulf. In 1453, however, the Ottomans took over Constantinople defeating the Byzantine Empire and the traditional route of connecting east and west via Mediterranean sea was cut off. In 1498, Vasca da Ga Gama discovered the sea route connecting Europe to India via Cape which continued to be the main route connecting India and England till early 1800.

Traditional Route connecting East and West.

Early Route
            With the East India Company headquartered in England it was necessary to communicate between India and England. Secondly, communication was necessary for trade activities.

            During the initial days, the communication between India and England was by ship going through Cape Town which normally used to take about 6 months one way. For a faster communication, mails were sent from India to England from 1636 via Basra, Bagdad, Aleppo, Constantinople, Vienna, Paris and Calais.

During 1777 to 1778 attempts were being made to send letters to England via Suez but could not succeed due to difficulties from Ottoman empire. In 1787, the ports of Alexandria and Suez were made the two landing places of arrival and departure on the western and eastern sides respectively. With the permission of the Turkish government(Ottaman) mails were sent between England and India via Suez. A private agent was appointed in Egypt to supervise dispatches between India and England. 

            In 1798, a regular mail route between England and India via Persian Gulf(Basra) was established. In 1862, six weekly mail service was established between Basra and Bombay by British Steam Navigation Company(BISON). The Basra route is called “The Desert Route” which connected Aleppo(to Constantinople) and Smyrna(to Malta).

Both the Suez and Basra routes had to face political and geographical difficulties. Basra was taken by Persia and retaken by Turks(Ottman) between 1775-1765. Between 1790 to 1800 the communication between England and India made good progress and became regular. Depending the situation Cape, Suez and Basra routes were used.

Packet and Ship Letter

            Ships of both East India Company and Private ships were used to carry mails between India and England. Foreign bound mail was marked ‘Ship Letter, or Packet Letters,’ to denote private ships(Ship Letter) in the one case, and government ships(Packet Letter) in the other. Different rates required different hand stamps.

Ship Rates
            Ship rates for Europe letters was first published in the “Bombay Courier” on 23rd December 1793. In 1797, the Madras governor issued a notification with postal rates for establishing a regular monthly overland postal service to England via Bombay and Basra. These two regulations are the first recorded facts for foreign letters for public both by sea and land. Prior to this regulation there is no recorded facts as to when foreign mails were opened for public.

Port of Entry(India and Great Britain)
Prior to 1843, Falmouth was the port of entry to Great Britain and in 1843, Southampton became the port of entry and exit to Foreign mails in Great Britain.
For India Kedgree(near Calcutta)was the port of exit for India (later Bombay). Foreign Mails were embarked and disembarked at Kedgree from the ships and conveyed  to Calcutta GPO by Dawk boats or runners. Kedgree Post office was destroyed in a cyclone 1864 and there was no effort to revive it. By 1864, Bombay became the port entry and exit for foreign mails, so Kedgree Post office lost its importance. Kedgree Post office is now forgotten.

Kedgree Map on the Hoogly River joining the Bay of Bengal
and the Kedgree Handstruck Postal Mark

King's Postage

Till early 1800, a gratuity amount was charged  per letter given to ship master who’s responsibility is to carry the letter.

Every letter  from Great Britain to India where handled by shipping houses known as Coffee House(in Britain). The sender had the choice to send a foreign letter by a particular ship of a choice mentioning it on the letter. The British Postal organisation were not involved both for letters from and sent to India and there was a loss of postage revenue both at the arrival and going out foreign letters.

The Ship letter office was opened at the port of entry which was Falmouth in England on 10th September 1799 for handling incoming foreign letters. This system introduced the additional charge of sea postage in addition to inland postage and ship master’s gratuity.

As per the British Postage Act 1814 making it compulsory on all shipmasters to carry foreign letters which are handed over by British Post only. All letters leaving Britain to India a new ‘Post Paid Withdrawn Ship Letter” was introduced. Under this ruling, sender of letter from Britain must present the letter to the British Post office and pay the required postage which includes ship master’s gratuity and sea postage and a stamp of “Post Paid Withdrawn Ship Letter” was put of the letter and the letter was given back to the sender who has the choice of sending the letter through a ship of their choice.

The British Postage Act 1815 ensured that letters could be sent to India and other colonial territories by either of the means :

·         Letters are brought to the British Post office and on payment of required postage which includes ship master’s gratuity and sea postage and a stamp of “Post Paid Withdrawn Ship Letter” was put of the letter and the letter was given back to the sender who has the choice of sending the letter through a ship of their choice.

·         Letters are brought to any post office and the Post Office made packets and undertook the responsibility to forward the foreign letters to either government or private ship and also paying the ship owners. It was the responsibility of Post Master General(PMG) to decide the letters to be sent along private or government ships.

Sea postage rates were also made compulsory in India through public notification in Calcutta Gazette April 4th 1816. Also, all letters on arrival at Britain must be handed over to British Post Office(Ship letter office) for delivery. This resulted in bifurcation of revenues between British Post Office and India Inland Post. The revenues of the British Post Office gave the emergence of “King’s Post”.

The East India Act 1819 repealed the King's Postage Act 1815 and continued the old practice of receiving and sending foreign letters which existed prior to 1814.

            In November 1830, a decision was taken to reintroduce by the Bombay Presidency that Ship Letter charges from 1st March 1831 which again withdrawn  after a period of just 8 months in a notice dated 25 October 1831. No further attempts were made to reintroduce ship postage before the first postal reform act 1837.

- Concluding Part next month
-Swamynathan R : email :

New issues from other Countries


August 2018 : Archeozoology in Eretez Israel

Archeology is the study of animals in archeological contexts. The stamps feature a lioness and its skull and elephant and its tusk found during excavations in Eretz, Israel

The Late Bronze Age is also known as the Late Canaanite Age (1200-1500 BCE). Archeologist Dr. Jacob Kaplan believed that the place where the lioness' remains were discovered was a pre-Philistine temple thought to be dedicated to the lion. The remains were dated to the interim period when the sea people (including the Philistines) entered Eretz Israel from the south. Until recently, the skull was kept on the top floor of the Jaffa Museum.

The median Acheulean period belongs geologically to the Pleistocene epoch. The excavations were carried out by Dr. Tamar Noy in 1960. The elephant remains date from the late Lower Paleolithic period – the early Stone Age (1,000,000 – 120,000 years ago). The site is located on the third eolianite ridge east of the sea. The elephant tusk relic is on display in the pre-historic exhibit at the Israel Museum, alongside elephant bones from the Daughters of Jacob.

Taiwan (Republic of China)

12 September 2018 National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts:

A set of four stamps featuring paintings from the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts: Red Sunset, By the Window, Day and Night and Work 


22 September 2018 : Winter Birds

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates four of winter’s winged beauties with the Birds in Winter Forever stamps. The stamps feature the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus), the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), the blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) and the red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus).
8 July 2018 :The Art of Magic

The US Postal Service celebrates the art of magic with this pane of 20 stamps featuring digital illustrations of five classic tricks magicians use to amaze and delight audiences: a rabbit in a hat (production), a fortune teller using a crystal ball (prediction), a woman floating in the air (levitation), an empty bird cage (vanishing), and a bird emerging from a flower (transformation).
- Ananthapuri Stamp Bulletin August & September  2018 issues edited by Mohanchandran Nair

- Judaica Thematic Society (UK)  September 2018  Newsletter edited by Gary Goodman

-The Hyderabad Philatelist  July 2018 issues edited by Prakash Agarwal

-The Hyderabad Hobby Magazine  July  2018 issues  edited by Prakash Agarwal

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Courtesy - News and Image Resource to this issue : Stamps of India ;  Suresh R.- Bangalore, USPS, Wolfgang Beyer- Germany, Pradip Jain, Patna; Eshita Basu Roy- Kolkata; Kasinath R. -Tanjore

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Recent Awards

INPEX 2017, Mumbai - Large Silver

CHINA 2016 - Bronze

TAIPEI 2015 - Bronze

CG International Philatelic Promotion Award 2014, Germany - ( 4th Position)

INPEX 2013, Mumbai - Vermeil

SHARJAH 2012, Sharjah ( UAE ) - Silver Bronze

IPHLA 2012, Mainz - Germany : Bronze

NDIPEX 2011 - World Stamp Exhibition, New Delhi - Bronze

JOBURG 2010 - 26th Asian International Stamp Exhibition, Johannesburg - Silver Bronze

PORTUGAL 2010 - World Stamp Exhibition, Lisbon - Bronze

Hong Kong 2009 -23rd Asian International Stamp Exhibition, Hong Kong - Silver Bronze

About Me

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Participated in different philatelic exhibitions Wrote for philately column in The Pioneer and worked as sub-editor for U-Phil Times published from United Philatelists, Kanpur.Did Schooling from Kanpur Vidya Mandir and Post Graduation in Botany from A.N.D. College Kanpur.


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