Philately is the hobby of collecting and researching postage stamps. The hobby of collecting Stamps includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloguing, displaying, storing, and maintaining the stamps or related products on thematic areas. It involves appreciation of various kinds of stamps. It also studies the significance of the stamps in the present scenario and the social conditions of the period to which it belongs. This hobby has developed into a major interest activity widely promoted by the government as an educational sport.
Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha today launched a Pan India scholarship program for school children called Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana to increase the reach of Philately. Under the scheme of SPARSH (Scholarship for Promotion of Aptitude & Research in Stamps as a Hobby), the hobby of philately will be promoted among school children.
The scheme will award annual scholarships to children of Standard VI to IX with good academic record who are also pursuing Philately as a hobby.
There will be a competitive selection process in all postal circles. The government will award 920 scholarships to students pursuing Philately as hobby. Every Postal Circle will select a maximum of 40 scholarships representing 10 students each from Standard VI, VII, VIII & IX. The amount of Scholarship will be Rs. 6000/- per annum @ Rs. 500/- per month.
The scholarships provided through this scheme are only available for students studying in a recognised school of India within which the child is a member of the Philately club. In case the school Philately Club hasn’t been established, a student with his/her own Philately Deposit Account will also be considered. Every prospective school, which participates in the competition, would be assigned a Philately mentor to be chosen from amongst the renowned Philatelists. The Philately mentor would help in formation of the School level Philately Club, providing guidance to young and aspiring Philatelists on how to pursue the hobby and also helping the aspiring Philatelists on their Projects etc.
The details of the Scheme will be available on the website at www.postagestamps.gov.in and www.indiapost.gov.in