Celebrated every year to focus on the achievements and contributions of women in the society, International Women’s Day has a special significance all over the world. Its roots lie in the early 1900s when oppression and inequality led women to become vocal and active in campaigning for change. The celebration of this event varies from region to region. It is celebrated to provide respect to the entire women fraternity, appreciate them and to express love for them. In India, women have always been honoured and respected. We are fortunate to have many legendary women like Mother Teresa, Sarojini Naidu, Indira Gandhi, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Kalpana Chawla and many more. Since 1957, the Departments of Posts, India, has brought out a number of special stamps to commemorate women from different spheres of life. Here are few of the many stamps issued by the department.
Centenary of First Freedom Struggle – 1957
This stamp was released on August 15 to mark the 100 years of first war of the Indian freedom struggle. It shows the great woman warrior Rani Lakshmi Bai on her horse marching towards the enemies.
Honouring the Nightingale – 1964
Sarojini Naidu has been instrumental in India’s freedom struggle with her poems and is also known as the ‘Nightingale of India’. This stamp was released to mark her birth anniversary on February 13.
International Women’s Year – 1975
The year was declared as the International Women’s Year by the United Nations. This day also marked the celebration of Women’s Day across the world every year.
Brides of India – 1980
Indian brides are known for their beauty and beautiful attire. These stamps celebrate the beauty of a quintessential Indian bride.
Crusader of World Peace – 1985
A year after India’s first woman Prime Minister Indira Gandhi passed away, philately celebrated her indomitable spirit with this stamp which shows her at the United Nations talking about world peace.
Immortalising Art – 1987
Rukmini Devi is considered as the most important revivalist of Bharatnatyam and is among the 100 people who shaped India. This stamp was released to mark the first death anniversary of this legendary dance exponent.
Women in Aviation – 1998
This stamp portrays the achievement of Indian women and their presence in the world of aviation. It also signifies that sky is the limit for Indian women.
Mighty Mother – 1999
Jijabai, mother of the great warrior Shivaji, paved her way from the pages of history to this stamp. It portrays child Shivaji sitting on her mother’s lap, giving a beautiful message of motherhood.
Women’s Day – 2007
This artwork was released to commemorate the spirit of womanhood on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.
Legendary Heroines – 2011
The leading ladies of the Indian cinema of yesteryear dominate these stamps. Right from the first lady of Bollywood, Devika Rani to the tragedy queen, Meena Kumari.
Text by Supriya Aggarwal
Images by Philately, Department of Posts, India