By Ravinder Singh Robin
Neeraj Jain, a passionate stamp collector from Punjab’s Amritsar district, boasts of some of the rare stamps that were issued in the country and continues to carry on with his passion despite reeling global slow down and recession.
Jain, who works as a team leader in a private shopping mall, had started collecting stamps from a very early age of thirteen and has continued with his passion since then. He has so far collected 1,50,000 million Indian stamps, which include the 2100 stamps issued after independence.
“In my childhood, I met some collectors who inspired me by and guided me in my effort to collect stamps. The government issues stamps of value Rs.1200 in a year. And, if you collect a minimum of four stamps it will cost you about Rs.5,000,” Jain said.
“Besides the collection, the cost of preserving the stamps is very high, as there are chances of their getting damaged. You have to spend at least Rs.2500 to buy accessories to preserve the stamps. I have a century-old stamp in a very good condition as I have preserved it properly,” he added.
In his possession he has a variety of are stamps that were issued in 1947, and he also boasts of possessing a total of 1200 rare stamps.
“If you remember, a question was asked in Kaun Banega Crorepati for Rs. one million on what was the logo on the first stamp of India. It was a flag. A new stamp has been released recently, so now I have a collection of total 1200 rare stamps,” Jain said.
“Moreover I have a multiple variety of stamps that I like most. In total I have a collection of around 150,000 stamps, which are rarely found in any small post office,” he added.
Jain’s passion can be understood from the fact that he spent Rs.6,000 to get hold of a gold stamp that was recently by the Government.
“Once I went to a post office for some work, I heard somebody talking about gold series of stamps. I asked the person about it and collected more information through Internet. I got to know that a total of 25 stamps were going to be released,” Jain said.
“And, they would issue one stamp in a month. The stamp costs Rs.6,000 and the cost of entire collection is Rs. 1,50,000. So, I made up my mind and ordered a stamp. I felt very happy when I received it. It’s not easy for a middle class man to afford such expensive stamps,” he added.
Among the great collection that Jain possesses is the stamp of ‘Radha Krishna’ painting, which dates back to May 1973, and gold and silver coins launched at the silver and golden jubilee of the Independent India.
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