The Department of Posts [or India Post] is coming out with a special cancellation to capture the essence of the World Yoga Day on 21 June. This unique initiative will mark the commemoration of the 7th International Day of Yoga (IDY) 2021. Indian Post will issue this special cancellation with a pictorial design through its 810 Head Post offices across India. This is going to be one among the largest such simultaneous philatelic commemorations ever.
All delivery and non-delivery Head Post Offices will put this special cancellation on all mail booked in the office on 21stJune 2021. The special pictorial cancellation stamp will be an inked marking or impression with a graphical design with International Day of Yoga 2021 written in Both Hindi and English languages. A cancellation is defined as a postal marking used to deface a stamp to prevent its reuse. Such cancellations are valued collectibles and often subjects of philatelic studies.
Over the years, the passion for stamp collection has seen a decline, and to revive this hobby or art, India Post runs a scheme for philatelists. They avail stamps for collectors at Philatelic Bureauxand counters in designated post offices. One can easily open a philatelic deposit account in any head post office of the country by depositing Rs 200 and get items like stamps and special covers. Additionally, Commemorative stamps are only available at Philatelic Bureaux and counters or under the Philatelic Deposit Account Scheme. They are printed in limited quantities.
Yoga and IDY have been popular subjects for philatelic commemorations over the years. In 2015, the Department of Posts brought out a set of two stamps and a miniature sheet on the International Day of Yoga. In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released commemorative postage stamps on Surya Namaskara to mark the commemoration of the 2nd International Day of Yoga. In 2017, the UN Postal Administration (UNPA) issued a set of stamps showing 10 yoga asanas to commemorate the International Day of Yoga in New York.
The IDY has been celebrated all over the world in various (often creative) ways in the last six years. In India, many beautiful pictures from the past have depicted the unique celebrations of Yoga Day. It includes Indian Army personnel practicing Yoga in the icy ranges of the Himalayas, Naval officers and cadets performing Yoga on the decommissioned INS Viraat, creation of Sand Sculptures with IDY messaging, Indian Navy officials performing Yoga on the Indian Navy’s submarine INS ‘Sindhuratna’ etc. The current Philately initiative adds to the diversity in the observance of IDY.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 21st June as the International Day of Yoga (IDY) in their resolution adopted on 11th December 2014. Since 2015, this Day has been observed all over the world in ever-growing numbers of participants.
This year considering the COVID-19 Pandemic led situation, most of the events will take place virtually, promoting the main theme of this year “Be with Yoga, Be at Home.” As the country is cautiously coming out of the lockdown, this massive postal commemoration activity with more than 800 collectibles (cancellation design of each post office being a collectible) opens up immense philatelic opportunities and is likely to re-ignite philatelic activity in the country.