In a technology driven world, how long will philately last

Hooked to stamp collecting from the age of six by his own admission,  Governor Krishan Kant Paul today wondered how long philately would survive in a technology-driven world. 

"I wonder at the current rate of obsolescence, for how long this fine art (philately) will survive?" Paul said inaugurating the Meghapex 2014, a philately exhibition here where over 2000 rare stamps were on display. 

"Postage stamps being very delicate, require plenty of dedicated time, nurturing, patience and care. One gets hooked on to the hobby usually while at school. I did so," he said. 

The Governor said that postage stamps seemed to be of little use as the communication was confined to SMSes or e-mails or 

"Stories about stamps also do not interest people as they have so many other, perhaps, more useful diversions." 

He said that the recent controversy over a delayed speed post might have delivered yet another and a direct blow to the already shrinking community of letter writers and an indirect one to the dying art of philately. 

Having around 14,000 stamps in his collection, Paul was also a participant who displayed a wide range of stamps including those of Leonardo da Vinci, Tagore, John F Kennedy, and Jawaharlal Nehru among others. 

He said that he took up the hobby in school as he had the advantage of his father receiving voluminous correspondence from scientist friends abroad. 

"As a fringe benefit, the postage stamps used to be cut out from the covers and retained by me," he said. 

Comparing the hobby to 'fine arts', Paul said it was almost like 'romancing a hobby' which could be experienced only by a collector. 

Earlier, Post Master General of North East Circle, P K Swain said that personalised commemorative stamps would be available to people as an added attraction. 

"The personalisation is achieved by printing a thumbnail photograph of customers' image alongside the selected commemorative postage stamp," he said.

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