The World Philately exhibition "INDIPEX 2011" Saturday kicked off at India's biggest exhibition ground, Pragati Maidan, in New Delhi.
Organized by India Post, the seven-day (February 12 to 18) event was inaugurated by the President of India, Mrs Pratibha Devisingh Patil by issuing a special limited edition "Khadi" Stamp.
The exhibition, held here after a gap of 13 years, is showcasing some of the best collection of stamps, stationary and philatelic literature from all over the world in different categories. There are 595 collectors from 70 countries who will be participating in the exhibition apart from 28 philatelic dealers and 31 postal administrations.
Among the rare stamps on display is the most expensive Indian stamp, the "Inverted Head Four Annas" issued in 1854.
To commemorate INDIPEX 2011, India Post has brought out two sets of stamps in 2010, one on Heritage post Offices and one on old pre independence era stamps of India States. A set of six stamps on six legendry actresses of Indian Cinema will also be issued during this exhibition.
The aim of the exhibition is to promote philately and provide a forum for interaction between philatelic stakeholder's viz. collectors, dealers, stamp designers and printers and postal administrations.
Inaugurating the exhibition Indian President said that Stamps tell the story of their own evolution, as well as of important occurrences and personalities in the lives of nations, since they are a significant mode of commemorating, celebrating and promoting national heritage and events. Underlining the importance and role of stamps, the President said, "Stamps are usually printed on paper. For the first time in history, a special Khadi Stamp is being issued which is on Mahatma Gandhi, the Apostle of non-Violence."
This is the sixth time that such an exhibition is being held in India. India first held such an exhibition in 1954 and the last one in 1997.