VISAKHAPATNAM : The exhibition of rare collection of First Day Covers, special covers and stamps on the Indian Navy by retired Cdr G Sri Ramarao at Visakha Museum has been extended by a week because of the overwhelming response it elicited.
Ramarao asked the managements to bring schoolchildren to get to know about the stamps which they haven’t seen before and cultivate a hobby of stamp collection.
Ramarao, a native of Visakhapatnam, is a musician, philatelist and numismatist. Stamp collection has been his hobby since childhood and he has also collected stamps on Navy during his stint in Navy. After retirement, he undertook training in Carnatic music for eight years when he thought of becoming a professional philatelist.
“Till now, I have 4,800 stamps on musicians and musical instruments, 280 coins relating to music, 116 currency notes of the world, 40 miniature models of musicians, 216 autographs of famous musicians and stamps on 76 musical post offices of 13 countries, including the USA, Canada and Poland,” said the philatelist.
Visitors can look at the rare collection of stamps on Navy at the museum, including the six First Day covers of all the International Fleet Reviews since Independence, four stamps on the IFR and one stamp on the 2016 IFR. Collection of stamps on submarine, aircraft, ships, a special cover on Vice Admiral RD Katari and stamps on pioneers of India shipping Walchand Hirachand and Narottam Morarjee and Indian Coast Guard.
Ramarao proudly told ‘Express’ that “This is the first time I have exhibited the collection of Navy stamps during the IFR and I have got very good response.”
He was among the eight retired officers who participated in the International City Parade in the IFR.
“Rare stamps on the world’s 2011 first postage stamp on the Khadi of Mahatma Gandhi, 2003 Davis Cup Victory of Russia, world’s first Swarovski crystals of Austria, first beaded stamp of Singapore, stamp on meteorite dust and gold and silver post cards can be the rare stamps in the exhibition,” he added.
His passion and love are visible for music with his collection of first gramophone stamp of Switzerland which plays the National Anthem of Switzerland when played on a Gramaphone, Cd-rom stamps of Bhutan, stamps of Michael Jackson, 16 emergency currency notes of Germany, including collection of coins on the famous people of the world.
“Every stamp relating to music in the world is in my collection and I spend half of my pension on my hobby,” said the musician.
Ramarao who is among the first batch of officers trained in Russia on surface-to-surface P-15 missile systems in 1969, advices the younger generation to cultivate the hobby of stamp collection. He is also coming up with a book on the collection of stamps, coins and currency notes. Aiming to enter the Guinness World Records, the philatelist is encouraged by his family members to set up a special gallery of his collections in his house.