A commemorative postage stamp on Welthy Honsinger Fisher :
Issued on Mar 18, 1980
Issued for : The P & T Department is privileged to issue a special stamp to honour a devoted friend of India.
Description of Design : The design of the stamp depicts a view of the ‘Saksharta Niketan‘ (Literacy House) established by Welthy Fisher (inset) in Lucknow (India).
The first day cover shows the portrait of Welthy Fisher.
The design of the First Day Cancellation shows a book, quill and ink-pot symbolising adult literacy.
Designed by : Madhusudan Chaudhury
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Blue Grey
Denomination : 30 Paise
Overall size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.
Printing size : 3.55 x 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Watermark : Printed on water–marked adhesive stamp paper
Number printed : 30,00,000
Number per issue sheet : 35
Printing process : Photogravure
Printed at : India Security Press
Name : Welthy Honsinger Fisher
Born on Sep 18, 1879 at Rome, New York, United States
Died on Dec 16, 1980 at Southbury, Connecticut, United States
- Welthy Fisher (nee Housinger) was born on 18 September 1879 in the town of Rome in the United States of America. In her earlier years she trained for opera singing and was a melodious singer. However, inspired by an evangelist, Dr. Robert Speers, she quit the glittering world of opera. Five years after her graduation from Syracuse University in 1900 she left for China where she worked till 1917 as Principal of a school for girls in Nanchang in the Kiangsi province. Her first visit to India was in 1920. After her marriage to Frederick Bohn Fisher, a Methodist Bishop in India, she travelled extensively in the country. She also had the privilege of meeting Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. After the death of her husband she dedicated herself to service of humanity with renewed vigour. She spent several years and visited several countries to study educational methodology. During the course of her visit to India in 1947, she met Mahatma Gandhi on 15 December 1947. Gandhiji had then advised her to go to villages and help the villagers. Welthy Fisher came back to India in 1952. She started an adult literacy class for the villagers in a verandah of the Agricultural Institute at Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh in 1953. She constantly experimented with various teaching aids, preparing and selecting books for the adult neo-literates and developed a literacy kit to equip a teacher to teach 25 students at a time. Later on she moved from Allahabad to Lucknow, acquired land and, with the help of renowned architect Laurie Baker constructed “Saksharta Niketan” (Literacy House). For twenty years she devoted every minute of her waking hours to the welfare of the Indian villagers. In 1973 she handed over the management of the institute to the Indian Literacy Board and went back to the United States, where she is still active in her chosen field of work.
- She has been honoured with many awards, the prestigious among them are Nehru Literacy Award, Ramon Magsaysay Literacy Award, Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) of the University of Syracuse, U.S. Government Special Award on the International Literacy Day in 1978, UNESCO Literacy Prize, etc.