- Inputs from Prabhat Kumar Moharana
Hinjilikatu: In today’s hectic life, it is not always possible for somebody to pursue dreams and fulfill passion. But there are instances galore where people have created unique identities through crafting products that have impeccable craftsmanship with the use of waste materials.
Meet the young numismatist A. Chandrashekhar Sarab of Gayatri Nagar in Hinjilikatu town of Ganjam district. He has carved a niche for himself in coin, currency notes, and postage stamp collections. For his obsession with coins, he has already found a place in the ‘OMG Books Of Records’ as the most number of foreign coin collectors in the country. He is the first Odia to achieve this feat.
Not only that, he has opened a collection house of rare foreign coins, currency notes and postage stamps in his locality.
Working as a senior clerk in the Odisha state judicial department, he has a craze for accumulating rare coins and postage stamps from India and abroad.
More than 300 types of rare coins belonging to different countries around the world feature in his collection. In addition to this, he has a collection of rare postage stamps of more than 100 countries, almost all coins and notes of independent India, of Portuguese rule in India, stamps of independent India and of more than 50 princely states, revenue stamps, court fee stamps, and coins. His collection includes many coins and stamps depicting heroes, great sportsmen, freedom fighters, historical places, art, and architecture He also has a collection of 500 varieties of old matchboxes.
Sarab’s private collection house is named ‘The CoinWorld’, and he is famously known as the ‘Coin Master’ in the region.
Sarab’s craving for coins and postage stamps began when he was studying in Standard 5, and he did it out of his pocket money. He, to begin with, removed the postage stamps from the letters coming to his house. He gained a broader knowledge of rare stamps and coins when he was studying at Hinjilikatu Science College. However, the work became easier for him when he landed a government job in 2015, as he could spend more on these collections. Chandrasekhar credits his family members and friends for supporting him in this endeavour.
Some of the special collections of Chandrasekhar’s museum include coins of the Kushan Empire, Alauddin Khiliji Nizam of Hyderabad; Rare handmade notes of Tibet, large notes of Russia, small notes of Germany and Liechtenstein, Ganesha notes of Indonesia, Ganesha cane of Thailand, collar cane of Canada, plastic coin of Transnistria and coins of many defunct countries like Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia; Bhutan’s 3D stamp, the world’s longest stamp, Odisha state stamp; First Notes and Coins of Independent India, Star Notes, Commemorative Coins of Lord Shri Jagannath and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Commemorative Coins of Legendary Bijubabu and very rare notes and coins of Independent India along with many rare postage stamps, special envelopes, postcards and Matchbox engravings.
Chandrsekhar aims to popularize this knowledge and build a modern currency museum for the public. He said that he would help people gain knowledge about foreign currency and postage stamps and get detailed information about foreign countries. He broadcasts on YouTube under the name ‘The CoinWorld’ to spread knowledge about collecting postage stamps and coinage. In addition, he shares his rare collection with the public on Instagram and Facebook.