A special cover on Mahatma Gandhi was released on February 25, 2019 by the Karnataka Circle of India Post to commemorate the 85 years of his only visit to Udupi on February 25, 1934 as a part of his Harijan Tour. Gandhiji had addressed a public meeting at Ajjarkad on February 25, 1934, and spoken about the uplift of the downtrodden, eradication of untouchability, temple entry, freedom and the Swadeshi andolan. During his visit to this region Gandhi had also raised funds towards the Harijan Fund and also towards the rehabilitation of the Bihar Earthquake victims.
Dr. Charles Lobo, Chief Postmaster General, Karnataka Circle, Bengaluru and Ranjan Pai, Chairman Manipal Medical and Education Group (MEMG) Bengaluru and Registrar Academy of General Education, Manipal released the special cover. The special cover release was organised by Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and Academy of General Education at the University Administrative Building in Manipal.
The Special Cover has effectively portrayed the rare photographs of Mahatma Gandhi's Visit to Udupi. In the background it also remembers the establishment of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, the oldest college in Udupi district in 1949, as a worthy and permanent memorial dedicated to the eternal memory of the Mahatma. The Cover also mentions Gandhiji's one-liner message to Udupi: "Stand up for the truth at any cost".
The Special Cover with the cancellation and My Stamp was planned by Mr. M.K. Krishnayya, Philatelist and by the officials of the Udupi Division of India Post & Udupi Head Post Office. Pictures and the archival information were provided to the Postal Department by the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, Udupi through its Gandhian Study Centre.
The rare photographs of Gandhiji's only visit to Udupi were photographed by late Narahari Kamath of Ideal Studio Thenkapete, Udupi. Late Pundalik Nayak, veteran photographer and proprietor of Ideal Photo Studio, had provided many rare photographs of Gandhiji's visit to the public of Udupi. He had guided the Gandhian Study Centre of MGM College to maintain a photo collection along with proper description for proper dissemination of facts. He had also provided the photographs along with valuable information to various institutions, media houses, literary and cultural associations/institutions/organisations in Udupi. It was due to this selfless greatness of Shri Pundalik Nayak that some rare photographs of Gandhiji can be seen in public domain. I was also told that he was the official photographer of our founder and of our College in 1949-1950s during special occasions. It was due to their contributions that this cover could effectively portray Gandhiji in Udupi. Earlier also it was due to Mr. Pundalik Nayak's generosity that these photographs were used by almost all the newspapers, TV Channels, Government Agencies, Museums, Research Centers, Educational Institutions, publications and exhibitions to portray the historical heritage of Udupi.
The Cover was sponsored by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education - MAHE-Deemed University, Manipal.
Source: Report by Suddi Darshan G C, MGM Sanmati.