Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Stamp on Sachin Tendulkar rushed through, RTI reveals

Postal department has admitted that the commemorative stamp on Sachin Tendulkar issued on November 14, 2013, was rushed through.
CHENNAI: Was the commemorative stamp on Sachin Tendulkar issued on November 14, 2013, rushed through after bypassing postal rules? Yes, says the postal department in a reply to an RTI filed by activist Subhash Agarwal on December 24, 2013. The cricketing icon played his last test against West Indies in Mumbai between November 14 and 18. 

The stamp was issued within 20 days of the request being sent by Union minister Sharad Pawar. Under Rule 13 of the Rules for issue of Commemorative Postage Stamps, it takes much more than 20 days to design and approve a stamp to be released. Also commemorative stamps are issued 10 years after the death of a leader or celebrity and in exceptional cases, it is released to honour head of nations, said Rashi Sharma, director (Philately) & First Appellate Authority department of posts in the reply. 

"The desired date of release of this proposed stamp is November 14, 2013 which is merely 20 days away and pre-production formalities of a stamp require a longer time for printing of a good quality stamp and its distribution nationwide on the date of release," said Sharma. 

"It would be relevant to mention here that as per the rule 13 of 'Rules for issue of Commemorative Postage Stamps,' no stamp will be issued on a living personality. The personalities on whom commemorative postage stamp may be issued should be of national or international importance. The occasion to be commemorated must be the birth centenary or 10th, 25th, and I00th death anniversary. Stamps can be issued no sooner than 10 years after an individual's death," the director said in the reply. 

The philately division assigned Kamleshwar Singh, an empanelled artist of the department of posts to design the stamp. Singh has to his credit various stamps, including those issued on the occasion of 100 Years of Indian Cinema and London Olympics 2012. Two set of stamps were issued on November 14, the first with Sachin's picture during the first test he played in Pakistan in 1989 and the second from his last test in Mumbai. 

The stamps issued to honour Sachin are of a high denomination of Rs 20 and they are not available across the country though many fans of the cricketer may want to own them. "To ensure availability of attractive multi-coloured postage stamps for public through all the post offices, stamps of definitive series should not be printed in denominations in which commemorative stamps are usually printed. Currently even in Delhi, such colourful commemorative stamps are available only at head post office at Sansad Marg," Agarwal told TOI

Source : TOI

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