Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The first philatelic exhibition on a running train

A new record was set on the rail tracks at Siliguri Junction on June 5, 2006 when for the first time in India and across the globe, a running philatelic exhibition was conducted. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, UNESCO recognized world heritage, ran for 31 kilometers in 10 hours from was from Siliguri Junction to Agony Point, with a halt at Sukuna to mark its 125th year. The program jointly conducted by Siliguri Philatelic Society (SPS) and Sikkim Philatelic Club (SPC) had added a new page in the history of Indian Philately. Noted Railway Philatelist Vikas Singh of Ghaziabad, the man behind the concept, had booked the train for the day

for this purpose. The event named “Heritage 06” was held on June 5 and 6, 2006. On first day the exhibition was held at Siliguri Junction Railway Station where the well decorated Train 788-B was flagged off to Agony Point, Tindharia at around 7.30 am. Stamps, Special Cover and First Day Covers on Indian Railway mounted on 40 sheets were exhibited inside the two bogies of the toy train.
Present on the occasion was K B Chursa, Superintendent of Post Offices Jalpaiguri Post Office, Dipok Dey - eminent philatelist from Kolkata, Vikas Singh, noted railway philatelist from Ghaziabad, S K Biswas President of Siliguri Philatelic Society, Shital Pradhan Secretary, Sikkim Philatelic Club, Postal and Railway officials and the philatelists Chiranjiv Chakraborty, Biswajit Bhattacharya, Padam Parajuli, Sumnima Parajuli, all from Siliguri, Ganesh Pradhan and Shishir Pradhan from from Sikkim while Asit Ghosh and Manoranjan Bhattacharya represented Cooch Bihar Philatelic Association.
Shital Pradhan conducted the program in the running train. Biswas welcome all aboard and told the passengers on board the significance of the achievement of the day. He added that this event held in a small platform will generate enough curiosity in India and the other parts of the World. Pawan Agarwal, Secretary, SPS also addressed the audience.
Dipok Dey conducted a workshop on philately explained the beauty of the stamp and how can a beginner generate this hobby to its commercial use too. A special cover and a stamp booklet were released on this occasion by the Chief Guest K B Chursa, who presented the first Special Cover to Vikas Singh.
The next phase of the function was held at Denabandhu manch. A stamp exhibition with over 2000 stamps was displayed followed by painting exhibition and quiz competition.
Both the associations of SPS and SPC are making efforts to mark the achievement recognized by entry in the Limca Book of Records and the Guinness Book of Records.