A set of four postal stamps and a special cover on Prime Minister Narendra Modi conceptualised by a philatelist from Bihar has been issued by the Department of Posts (DoP).
"I conceptualised the stamps and special cover to mark the ascendancy of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India. It was a popular event and not only our own country but the entire world was watching it with keen interest. The DoP issued it under 'My Stamp' series on May 26, the day he took oath," philatelist Pradeep Jain said.
The set of four stamps with a face value of Rs 5 each shows a smiling Modi in four different poses, covered with petals of flowers like Lily, Pansy and Dahlia.
The cover depicts a smiling Modi emerging from a fully blossomed lotus. The famous Navkar Mantra of the Jains is printed on the cover, which is titled 'The Power of Namo'.
The stamps and the cover were taken to Delhi by a senior Bihar BJP leader and presented to Modi and BJP President Rajnath Singh.
Seemingly impressed, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has contacted him to get a few of them to send them to the neighbouring countries.
"I got the idea during the inauguration of Barack Obama as the US President in 2009. It was a popular global event and stamps were released in Washington. If people in US can do this, why can't we," asked Jain.
The philatelist, who is a member of Royal Philatelic Society, London, and the only Indian member of the International Association of Philatelic Experts, based in Innsbruck, Austria, scoured the internet to download four photos of Modi.
Jain then roped in senior artist Sapan Javeri of National Institute of Design (NID) to bring the concept on paper. Once everything was completed, the DoP was requisitioned to print 1,800 stamps. The entire operation stamp cost him Rs 75,000, which includes Rs 13,000 charged by the DoP.
What will he do with the stamps next? "I did it for my own happiness. I will now gift them to people who are keen about having Namo in their stamp collection," smiled Jain.