Commemorative Stamps on Third Africa-India Forum Summit (AIFS-III) – 29th October 2015
India and Africa have a historic relationship and this has grown into a sustainable partnership. India hosted the Third Africa-India Forum Summit (AIFS-III) at Indira Gandhi National Stadium Complex, New Delhi from 26th to 29th October 2015. The summit was attended by representatives of 54 countries, including 41 heads of State and governments of African countries. India and a resurgent Africa have a vision of a close partnership. India-Africa partnership is anchored in the principles of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit. The third edition of IAFS summit enabled consultations at the highest political level between the heads of government of 54 nations across Africa and the Indian government to give a new thrust to age-old partnership.
To commemorate the Summit, Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, President of Zimbabwe and AU Chairperson, Rober Mugabe and other dignitaries released a Set of Six commemorative stamps and Miniature Sheets on Third Africa-India Forum Summit (AIFS-III) at New Delhi on 29th October, 2015.
Two Miniature Sheets having same design but one with stamps embossed in Golden and Silver colours called innovative Miniature Sheet priced at Rs. 300 with presentation pack and another with normal printing priced at Rs. 70 have been issued. Four stamps are in denomination of Rs. 5 and two stamps are in denomination of Rs. 25 each. Stamps depict Indian and African Rhinoceros, Black Buck, Thomson's gazelle, Indian Lion and African Lion.
The Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), also called the greater one-horned rhinoceros and great Indian rhinoceros, is a rhinoceros native to the Indian subcontinent. Creating folds that look like armor, the skin of the Indian rhinoceros is a brownish-gray hue with raised wart-like bumps on the neck, shoulders, and legs. Its single horn distinguishes the Indian rhinoceros from its African counterparts, who all have two horns. Historically, the Indian rhinoceros once existed across the entire northern part of the Indian subcontinent, along the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra River basins, from Pakistan to the Indian-Burmese border, including parts of Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. Currently, the Indian rhinoceros exists in a few small subpopulations in the Nepal and India.
There are two species of African rhinoceros – the white and the black. Despite their names, both are the same dark grey-brown colour. It’s thought that the name ‘white rhino’ is a misinterpretation of the Afrikaans word ‘wyd’, referring to its square upper lip. Black rhinos have hooked lips. White rhinos mainly live in South Africa, but they have also been reintroduced to Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. Southern white rhinos have been introduced to Kenya, Zambia, and Cote d’Ivoire. The majority of the black rhino population—98%—is concentrated in four countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. South Africa houses 40% of the total black rhino population. There are some black rhinos in the region spread between Cameroon and Kenya.
The Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), also called Kala Hiran, Sasin, Iralai Maan or Krishna Jinka is the only representative of genus antilope found in India. It is one of the most graceful animals and used to be seen in thousands at the beginning of this century all throughout the plains of India except the Western coast. Due to extensive poaching and habitat loss, blackbuck populations have been reduced drastically. Now they can be seen in a few protected areas like the Guindy National park and IITM campus, Point Calimere and Vellanadu Sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu and Rollapadu (Andhra Pradesh), Velavadar (Gujarat) and Chilka (Orissa) other than few parts of Rajasthan and Haryana.
Thomson’s gazelles (Eudorcas thomsonii), named after researcher Joseph Thomson, sometimes referred to as a "tommie" have light-brown coats with darks stripes running down their sides, a white patch on their rumps extending underneath the tail, and ridged horns that curve backward. Females may have shorter, smoother, and slimmer horns than males or none at all. Grant’s gazelles are sometimes confused with Thomson’s. However, Thomson’s is distinguished from Grant’s by its smaller size and the white patch on its rump. On Grant’s gazelles, the patch always extends above the tail. It is considered by some to be a subspecies of the red-fronted gazelle and was formerly considered a member of the genus Gazella within the subgenus Eudorcas, before Eudorcas was elevated to genus status. Thomson’s gazelles prefer savannas and grassland habitats, particularly in the Serengeti region of Kenya and Tanzania.
The Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica), also known as the Indian lion or Persian lion, is a lion subspecies that exists as a single population in India's Gujarat state. The Asiatic lion is one of five big cat species found in India, apart from Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, snow leopard and clouded leopard. It formerly occurred in Persia, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Baluchistan, from Sindh in the west to Bengal in the east, and from Rampur and Rohilkund in the north to Nerbudda in the south. It differs from the African lion by less inflated auditory bullae, a larger tail tuft and a less developed mane.
The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the five big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. The commonly used term African lion collectively denotes the several subspecies found in Africa. African lions are the biggest of the African carnivores. Color is tawny to sandy brown. The long tail has a distinctive black tuft at the tip. The adult males have manes which vary in color from tawny to black. Though lions used to live in most parts of Africa, they are now found only in the south Sahara desert and in parts of southern and eastern Africa.
Courtesy – Prashant Pandya : Indian Philately Digest