As the country celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema, the fourth edition of “Stamps of India National Exhibition-2013” acknowledges the contribution of legendary yesteryear actors like Durga Khote, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Smita Patil and queen of melody, Suraiya, to Bollywood.

Film buffs’ delight

The three-day exhibition, inaugurated at the NDMC Convention Centre on Parliament Street here on Friday, features a range of stamps and postcards on these iconic personalities. In fact, the entire collection of postcards of famous actors is a must-have for film buffs.

According to exhibition organiser, Madhukar Jhingan, India Post has done an excellent job releasing 50 postcards on actors.

“The entire set of these postcards are being bought by stamp enthusiasts. We also have stamps of leading lights of regional cinema.”

Pointing out that India lags behind China in the field, Mr. Jhingan said: “There are two crore registered stamp collectors in China, but India has only a few lakhs of them. We have a long way to go before we can compete with the Chinese.”

Exhibitor Redwan Al-Karim from Bangladesh has come up with a range of stamps on iconic personalities including a few on the South African anti-apartheid crusader, Nelson Mandela. But in a hurry to attend the inauguration, he forgot the stamps on the leader, who died on Thursday, in his hotel room. “It is a big miss, but I will showcase Mandela’s stamps in my stall on Saturday,” he told The Hindu.

A beaming silver coin on Tagore, issued by the Bangladesh government to mark the commemoration of his 150 birth anniversary, occupies the pride of place in his stall.

He has also brought heavy coins from African nations because “only a few in the sub-continent possess them.” “Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is a household name in our country and also a known historic personality in India. So I have brought stamps featuring him. Bangladeshis also hold the late Mother Teresa in high esteem for the commendable work she has done for leprosy patients in Kolkata.”

A self-confessed stamp collector S. Kumar opened a philatelic deposit account in the General Post Office so that he could get the latest stamps. “Since 1977, I have been collecting stamps and have a rich collection.” He regretted that the young are increasingly hooked to the Internet and spend less time on hobbies like reading and stamp collecting.