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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Silk postal cover to honour Mother Teresa

To make Mother Teresa's canonization special,India Post will release a silk postal cover - a first of its kind - on September 1, just three days ahead of the big event.

"As far as I know, such a silk postal cover has never been released in India. When we received the proposal, we thought it was a nice way to commemorate the historic occasion," said Polly Sarkar, deputy assistant director, philately, General Post Office(GPO).

Initially, the plan was the release the cover from the Entally post office. However, the decision might change, said Sarkar. "We are expecting a huge crowd. Hence, it might be prudent to host the event at the GPO, which is also a heritage building," she added. The cover will be released by the chief post master general.

Well-known philatelist Alok K Goyal, who is also the designer of the postal cover, has already procured the silk paper from germany. "The cover will have a motif of Mother and a child. Along with that, it will also have Kolkata's skyline. Other guests of honour will include principal of Loreto College Christine Coutinho," Goyal said. A maximum of 1,200 postal covers are being designed for the occasion, each of which will be priced at Rs 250.

Incidentally, eBay also sells silk first day covers of Mother Teresa. On September 5, 2010, a stamp was issued in honour of Mother from Washington DC. That First Day Cover has an envelope with the new stamp. The full-colour cachet (artwork on the envelope) features a photo portrait of Mother Teresa and the caption 'Peace begins with a smile - Mother Teresa'. The picture is printed on silk, the lustre lending an almost three-dimensional quality to the artwork. It is surrounded by an embossed gold border. Each of this first day cover is priced at US$21.95.

However, the India Post cover will be something different. "While the eBay cover has printed just the portrait on silk, our entire cover is made of silk. In 2010, the Indian government had issued a commemorative coin to mark the centenary of Mother Teresa. We will insert that Rs 5 coin of Mother Teresa on the cover as well. Usually, such silk covers are common in China. This is the first time we are attempting such a thing in India," Goyal concluded.

Source:-The Times of India

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