Amritsar, September 3
City-based philatelist Varun Aggarwal is documenting journalism in a unique way by collecting postal stamps released on various publications by the Central Government.
Aggarwal, who works as an LIC adviser, is keeping stamps out of his sheer love for journalism as a profession. He also has in his possession a stamp of The Tribune released in 2006 when the paper completed 125 years of its existence. He purchased the stamp for Rs 5 along with its first cover from Delhi.
Aggarwal has been collecting stamps since 1995 when he was just 15. He has displayed his work at various exhibitions. “I got inspiration from my uncle, who too was passionate about collecting stamps. This is my only hobby. I don’t even enjoy watching TV or cricket,” he said.
He has stamps from a number of publications, such as Hindustan Times, Times of India, Navbharat Times, Anandabazar Patrika and Doot.
He has in his collection stamps released since 1968 till 2013. The first stamp on journalism was released in 1968.
Apart from the publications, he collects stamps issued on the name of veteran journalists too, such as Jagdev Prasad, founder of Punjab Kesari group Lala Jagat Narain and others.
On being asked why Journalism, he says, “As a child I used to enjoy writing. I even worked as a freelancer with Hindi publications for a while. All this made me fell in love with journalism. Even today, I try to collect as much as stamps on journalism. It connects me to history.”
“Journalism is an era which has to be preserved and reflected in one of the best ways,” he says.
He has over one lakh stamps and plans to add more to the collection. Aggarwal who happens to be the general sectary of the Amritsar Philately Club is focusing on stamps released on different personalities from the holy city along with stamps reflecting the culture and places of holy city and Sikhism. He plans to pass this legacy of stamps to his children. The collection has postal stamps on wide topics such as environment, freedom movement, important personalities, children and others along with covers and sheets.