Jacob Varghese and over 200 Gandhis
Thrissur: For 77- year- old Jacob Varghese from Viyyur, collecting stamps of Gandhi is a 62-year-old hobby. He has more than 200 stamps of Gandhi from across 200 countries in the world. This includes the very first Gandhi stamp that India published in 1948 to the latest one that was released by Swachh Bharat Mission.
Varghese developed this hobby at the age of 15. Later, as he joined the Army, he had to take a break from this collection. However, after succumbing to injury in 1965 war, he joined the forest department in Kerala and continued with his hobby.
His collection includes stamps from West Germany (before unification), Malta, Antigua, Graneda, Bhutan, Sharjah, Kyrgyzstan, North Korea etc.
He also has the Gandhi- Mandela stamps released jointly by India and South Africa commemorating the 125th anniversary of Gandhi’s St. Petersburg incident and Mandela’s 100th birth anniversary apart from different stamps released by Mauritius and Bangladesh.
In his possession, Varghese also has postal covers and miniature sheets with Gandhi’s picture.
The very first stamp released by India can also be seen in his collection.