26, Issue # 85 - October 3, 2002
Whenever a group of persons come together for a singular cause and decide to work together as an organization, they begin with setting some basic framework of activities, aims and objectives. If the group decides to formalize this activity and register a society then Rules and Regulations are also formed. 26 years ago PCI was also founded by a group of like-minded persons to popularize and promote the hobby of stamp collecting in India. However after 26 years of its existence many milestones may have been crossed yet PCI still has a long way to go in achieving what it set out to do.
The goals that the founders set for themselves appear to be of no importance to the current set of persons at the helm of affairs.
We share with you some interesting facts about the PCI.
22 Aims and Objects were enshrined in the Memorandum of Association of the Philatelic Congress of India - the last 7 relate to the management of funds. Being of non-philatelic nature are not being reproduced here.
In respect of following 10 no effort has been made by the PCI in last 26 years:
(i) To promote the art and science of philately in all its facets and in particular to foster and encourage the study of stamp collecting, postal history and postal stationery and any other philatelic material literature,
(ii) To hold seminars and other activities for the promotion of the art and science of philately,
(iii) To build up libraries of philatelic literature and reference collection and to encourage research in philately and to disseminate all useful knowledge about philately,
(iv) To establish schools and training centres to advance the study of philately and in particular for young collectors,
(v) To promote philatelic friendship and exchange philatelic knowledge in and amongst philatelists and philatelic societies.
(vi) To exchange information relating to stamps and other philatelic material issued in Idia and elsewhere and keep liaison with issuing authorities
(vii) To strengthen contacts with all postal administrations and national organizations all over the world in philatelic matters for the promotion of philately
(x) To organize, establish or support philatelic museums
(xiii) To exchange philatelic material amongst members, societies and institutions with similar objects in and outside India
(xiv) To constitute expert bodies to give opinions and certificates in respect of postage stamps and philatelic material submitted to them
And the remaining 5 given below have been adhered to in part, for the benefit of a select few to promote themselves rather than philately:
(viii) To support exhibitions of postage stamps and philatelic material organized by postal administrations and member societies
(ix) To establish prizes and trophies for the encouragement of the art and science of philately
(xi) To organize national and international philatelic exhibitions and to participate in national and international philatelic exhibitions
(xii) To issue philatelic bulletin and other publications
(xv) To affiliate with and become members of national and international societies or institutions with similar objects and accept affiliation from such societies and institutions
In last 26 years 11 of the 15 founder members have become President one by one. The exceptions, P M Mehora who declined and allowed another founder member to become President, G S Beed moved out in disgust due to constant disagreement by the rest, S N Poddar died long before his chance could come, and G Madan Mohan Das doesn't have the clout / backing / wealth for him to be considered.
Life members have increased from 15 to 300 plus but interest of only a handful has been served and they have hogged all the benefits and posts.
The minutes of the Governing Council are not available for inspection to general members. When Government of India's files can be inspected and photocopies can be obtained what is so secret about PCI an organization meant only for promotion of Philately.
Over 100 out 0f the 300 plus life members have neither attended a single meeting in the 26 years of the existence of the society nor participated in a district, state, national, or world exhibition organized in India by the Department of Posts or by a philatelic organization. The membership of the PCI carries on its rolls persons who have no interest in philately including the wives of many philatelists. Representation of women is dismal, there are only 16 women life members and apart from 6 who actually are philatelists the rest are there in name only.