November 13, 2015
Your selfie can find a place of pride on postal covers that you send to your friends, family and acquaintances. Yes. A scheme of the India Posts prints your selfie on a stamp, and bingo, you have ‘My Stamp’.
Launched in 2013, so far 1,200 stamps have been issued in Coimbatore, and 45 in Udhagamandalam.
The scheme works this way – A person, who wants his or her selfie on a stamp, should copy the clicked selfie on a pen drive and submit it to India Posts. Those without this facility can click a selfie at the India Posts office. This will be used to print a strip of 12 stamps for Rs. 300.
What is the rationale behind this unique scheme, which gives an opportunity to the common man to see himself on a stamp on a par with great national leaders and freedom fighters ?
According to Manju P. Pillai, Postmaster General, “School children are very much interested in seeing their faces on a stamp. Industries use it for image branding. People in Coimbatore use ‘My Stamp’ while sending wedding, birthday and anniversary invitations. Recently there is also a provision to use the stamp on T-shirts and coffee mugs.”
The Department of Posts has established an NGO to revive the letter writing habit. It has also started various clubs, and conducts competitions for schoolchildren on letter writing. But there is mixed reaction among the public about ‘My Stamp’.
According to a youngster, “Only photographs of great leaders appear on stamps. People started philately as a hobby because every stamp has a wealth of history in it. Using a common person’s face on a stamp is as if you are totally letting down this rich tradition. Industries will use this for commercial purposes. Nevertheless, with this new selfie on stamp, youngsters are going to use the postal service, at least for the sake of seeing their pictures on the stamps.”
Alan Maria Jose, a post-graduate student, has this to say: “The Indian postal system is running in loss. It needs to innovate to capture the attention of people. Since selfies are the in thing, this attempt will popularize the Indian postal system among the youth.”