A commemorative postage stamp on the Birth Centenary of Helen Adams Keller, an American author, political activist and lecturer, first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree :
Issued by India
Issued on Jun 27, 1980
Issued for : The Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department feels privileged to issue a special stamp in her honour.
Description of Designs : The stamp depicts a sketch of Helen Keller.
The First Day Cover designed by M.K. Bardhan depicts an artists impression of the determination of visually handicapped person to make useful contribution to the Society with the help of his physical and mental abilities.
Type : Stamp, Postal Used
Colour : Orange and Black
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 unwater–marked adhesive stamp paper
Number printed : 20,000,000
Number per issue sheet : 35
Printing process : Photogravure
Designed and printed at : India Security Press
Name : Helen Adams Keller
Born on Jun 27, 1880 at Tuscumbia, Alabama, United States
Died on Jun 1, 1968 at Easton, Connecticut, United States
- “She will live on, one of the few, the immortal names not born to die. Her spirit will endure as long as man can read and stories can be told of woman who showed the world there are no boundaries to courage and faith.” – Senator Lister Hill.
- Helen Adams Keller was born in Tuscambia, Alabama (USA) on 27 June 1880 in a white frame cottage called “Ivy Green”. Her father, Arthur Keller was the editor of a newspaper, North Alabamian and was an influential figure in his own community.
- The illness that struck her when she was only 18 months old left her deaf, blind and mute. As she grew from infancy into childhood, she was wild, unruly and with little understanding of the world around her. Helen’s real life began on a March day in 1887 when Anne Mansfield Sullivan, a 20 year old graduate of the Perkins School for the Blind, came to Tuscambia to be her teacher through the sympathetic interest of the renowned scientist and inventor, Alexander Graham Bell. How Anne Sullivan succeeded in awakening Helen’s marvellous mind is familiar to the world through Helen’s autobiography, The Story of My Life.
- In 1898 she entered the Cambridge School for Young Ladies to prepare for Radcliffe College, which she joined in 1900. She received her bachelor of arts degree with distinction in 1904. Though her formal schooling ended with her graduation, but she kept up a life-long interest in scholastic and intellectual pursuits. In recognition of wide and many scholarly achievements, she received honorary doctoral degrees from Harvard University, Delhi University, Temple University and from the Universities of Glasgow, Berlin and Witwatersrand (Johannesburg).
- Helen Keller’s writing career started during her Radcliffe College days and continued unabated for 50 years. She is author of many books. She frequently contributed to magazines and newspapers, writing prolifically on blindness, deafness, social issues and women’s rights. During her lifetime she received numerous awards of great distinction including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honour. In 1965, she was one of 20 elected to the Women’s Hall of Fame at the New York World’s Fair. Earlier in 1954 her birth place, ‘Ivy Green’ in Tuscambia was made a permanent shrine.
- In spite of her wide-ranging interests, Helen Keller never lost sight of the needs of her fellow blind and deaf-blind and relently strove to help them by appearing before legislatures, giving lectures, writing articles and, above all, by her own example of what a severely handicapped person can accomplish. Many world figures were known to her and some among them Alexander Graham Bell, Mark Twain, and William James were her personal friends. During one of her globe-girdling tours in 1955, she visited India and met Jawaharlal Nehru. She died on June 1, 1968 at Arcan Ridge, a few weeks short of her 88th Birthday.