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Commemorative Stamp on Dr. M. G. Ramachandran released on 17th January 2017.
 
Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran (17 January 1917 – 24 December 1987), popularly known as MGR, was an actor and politician who served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for ten years between 1977 and 1987. MGR is a cultural icon in the state of Tamil Nadu, where he is regarded as one of the most influential actors of the Tamil film industry. He made his film debut in the 1936 film Sathi Leelavathi in a supporting role and dominated the Tamil film industry for three decades. Later he joined Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). In 1972, he left the DMK and formed his own party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). He steered an AIADMK-led alliance to victory in the 1977 election, routing the DMK in the process. He became Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the first film actor to become a chief minister in India.
 
The birth centenary of Dr. M G Ramachandran was celebrated on 17th January 2017 at the Dr MGR Medical University campus in Guindy. On the occasion a Commemorative Stamp was released by the Tamilnadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam in presence of Shri T. Murthy, Director General of Department of Posts, Shri Charles Lobo, Chief Postmaster General, Tamilnadu Circle and other cabinet ministers.
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3rd January 2016: Birth Anniversary of Savitribai Phule

Go, Get Education
Be self-reliant, be industrious
Work—gather wisdom and riches,
All gets lost without knowledge
We become animal without wisdom,
Sit idle no more, go, get education
End misery of the oppressed and forsaken,
You’ve got a golden chance to learn
So learn and break the chains of caste.
Throw away the Brahman’s scriptures fast.

- Most loved and valued poem of Savitri Phule

Savitribai Jyotirao Phule (3 January 1831 – 10 March 1897) was an Indian social reformer and poet. Along with her husband, Jyotirao Phule, she played an important role in improving women's rights in India during British rule. Phule along with her husband founded the first women's school at Bhide Wada in Pune in 1848. She worked very hard to abolish discrimination and unfair treatment of people based on caste and gender. She is regarded as an important figure of the social reform movement in Maharashtra. Savitribai Phule was the country’s first woman teacher and the first leader of the women’s liberation movement.
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Special Cover on Dr. Gaya Prasad Katiyar released on 26th December 2016.

Dr. Gaya Prasad Katiyar was one of the most dedicated soldiers of India’s freedom struggle. Gaya Prasad Katiyar was born at Jagadishpur (UP). He joined Hindustan Socialist Republican Association in 1925 and got connected with Chandra Shekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh. Later he participated on Lahore Conspiracy Case and was arrested from Saharanpur in 1929. He joined the hunger strike at Lahore Jail with his co prisoners. Later he was transported to Cellular jail in Andaman and again he participated on hunger strike there. He was repatriated in 1937 but again arrested and transported to cellular jail from where he was released in 1946.

Department of Posts released a Special Cover on Dr. Gaya Prasad Katiyar on 26th December 2016 at the function held to release commemorative stamps on Personalities of Bihar at New Delhi by Smt Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare in presence of Mr. B. V. Sudhakar, Secretary, Department of Posts & Chairperson, Postal Services Board, Shri A. N. Nanda, Member (Banking & HRD) and Hardayal Municipal Public Library Chairperson Shobha Vijender.
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Commemorative Stamps on Personalities of Bihar released on 26th December 2016.
 
Department of Posts released a set of eight commemorative stamps on Dashrath Manjhi, Kailashpati Mishra, Sri Krishna Sinha, Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’, Karpoori Thakur, Kunwar Singh, Dr Sachchidananda Sinha, Vidyapati in the denomination of Rs 5 each in Personality Series of Bihar on 26th December, 2016 at a function held at New Delhi. Stamps were released in presence of Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Mr. B. V. Sudhakar, Secretary, Department of Posts & Chairperson, Postal Services Board and Shri A. N. Nanda, Member (Banking & HRD).
 
Dashrath Manjhi (c. 1934 – 17 August 2007), also known as Mountain Man, was a poor labourer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, who carved a path 110 m long, 9.1 m wide and 7.6 m deep through a hillock using only a hammer and chisel. After 22 years of work, Dashrath shortened travel between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya town from 55 km to 15 km.
 
Kailashpati Mishra (5 October 1923 – 3 November 2012) was a politician. He was leader of the Bharatiya Janta Party and a former Governor of Gujarat and for a short duration Governor of Rajasthan following the death of the incumbent Governor Nirmal Chandra Jain. Kailashpati Mishra was born in Dudharchak, Buxar, Bihar, into a Bhumihar Brahmin family. He was a bachelor and popularly called the "Bhishmapitamah" of Bihar.
 
Shri Krishna Sinha (21 October 1887 – 31 January 1961), known as Dr. S. K. Sinha, Sri Babu and Bihar Kesari, was the first Chief Minister of Bihar (1946–61). Except for the period of World War II, Sinha was chief minister of Bihar from the time of the first Congress Ministry in 1937 until his death in 1961. Along with Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Shri Babu is regarded among the Architects of Modern Bihar. He led the Dalit entry into the Baidyanath Dham temple of Deoghar, reflecting his commitment to the upliftment and social empowerment of dalits. He was the first Chief Minister in the country to abolish the zamindari system. He was known as "Bihar Kesari" for his lionlike roars when he rose to address the masses.
 
Phanishwar Nath 'Renu' (4 March 1921 – 11 April 1977) was one of the most successful and influential writers of modern Hindi literature in the post-Premchand era. He is the author of Maila Anchal, which after Premchand's Godaan, is regarded as the most significant Hindi novel. Phanishwar Nath 'Renu' is best known for promoting the voice of the contemporary rural India through the genre of 'Aanchalik Upanyas' (Regional Story), and is placed amongst the pioneering Hindi writers who brought regional voices into the mainstream Hindi literature. His short story "Maare Gaye Gulfam" was adapted into a film Teesri Kasam (The Third Vow) by Basu Bhattacharya in 1966 for which he also wrote the dialogues. Later his short story "Panchlight" (Petromax) was made into a TV short film.
 
Karpoori Thakur (24 January 1924 – 17 February 1988) was a politician from the Bihar state. He was popularly known as Jan Nayak. He served as the Chief Minister of Bihar from December 1970 to June 1971 (Socialist Party/Bharatiya Kranti Dal), and from December 1977 to April 1979 (Janata Party).
 
Kunwar Singh (1777 – 26 April 1858) belonged to a royal Ujjainiya Rajput house of Jagdispur, currently a part of Bhojpur district of Bihar. At the age of 80 years, during India's First War of Independence in 1857, he actively led a select band of armed soldiers against the troops under the command of the British East India Company. He was the chief organizer of the fight against the British in Bihar.
 
Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha (November 10, 1871- March 6, 1950) was an eminent and noted parliamentarian, educationist, lawyer and journalist of India. He was born in Arrah, in Bihar in a well-to-do Kayastha family. He did his study of Law at London to become a Barrister. He was hardly in his twenties, when he launched the movement for a separate Bihar, soon after returning from England as a barrister in year 1891-92. Away back in 1890 most of the people believed that it was not possible or even desirable. But, a small group of others and he persisted and the dream came true in 1911 when Bihar and Orissa came into existence as a separate province from Bengal at the famous Delhi Durbar.
 
Vidyapati (1352 – 1448), also known by the sobriquet Maithil Kavi Kokil (the poet cuckoo of Maithili) was a Maithili poet and a Sanskrit writer. He was born in the village Bisfi in Madhubani district and died in the Janakpur of Mithila state of Nepal. He was the son of Shri Ganapati Thakur. The name Vidyapati is derived from two Sanskrit words, Vidya (knowledge) and Pati (master), connoting thereby, a man of knowledge. Vidyapati's poetry was widely influential in centuries to come, in the Hindustani as well as Bengali, Maithili, less actively Nepali language and other Eastern literary traditions. Indeed, the language at the time of Vidyapati, the prakrit-derived late abahatta, had just began to transition into early versions of the Eastern languages, Maithili, Nepali, Bengali, Odia, etc. Thus, Vidyapati's influence on making these languages has been described as "analogous to that of Dante in Italy and Chaucer in England."
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Commemorative Stamp on Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay released on 29th December 2016.
 
Commemorative Stamp on Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay is released by Uttar Pradesh Governor Shri Ram Naik and President of the Bharatiya Janata Party Shri Amit Shah at Lucknow.
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Commemorative Stamp on Samrat Vikramaditya released on 22nd December 2016.
 
Vikramaditya was a legendary emperor of ancient India. He is characterised as the ideal king, known for his generosity, courage, and patronage of scholars. There are hundreds of legends about Vikramaditya, including the ones in Baital Pachisi and Singhasan Battisi. Most of the legends present him as a universal ruler with his capital at Ujjain (Pataliputra or Pratishthana).
 
According to the popular tradition, Vikramaditya started the Vikrama Samvat era in 57 BCE, after defeating the Shakas. For this reason, those who believe him to be based on a distinct historical figure place him around the 1st century BCE. However, this era is mentioned as "Vikrama Samvat" only after the 9th century CE. Other scholars argue that Vikramaditya is a mythical character as several of the legends about him are fantastic in nature. "Vikramaditya" was a common title adopted by several Indian kings, and it is possible that the various Vikramaditya legends are embellished accounts of different kings, particularly Chandragupta II.
 
A commemorative stamp was released on Samrat Vikramaditya by Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and Union telecom Minister Shri Manoj Sinha at Raj Bhawan, Lucknow on 22nd December 2016.
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Commemorative Joint Issue Stamps on Diplomatic relations between India and Portugal released on 7th January 2017.
 
India attaches great value to its historical bonds with Portugal spanning over 500 years. India and Portugal enjoy excellent bilateral relationship with each other with frequent and active interaction through different platforms that allow both countries to exchange views on many of common issues of concern. This collaboration has been fruitful and beneficial for both countries and the ties of both countries continue to grow from strength to strength over the years.
 
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Portuguese Republic, Mr. Antonio Costa released a set of two commemorative Joint Issue stamps (5 Rs and 25 Rs), issued by the postal departments of India and Portugal, at Hyderabad House, New Delhi on 7th January, 2017. Both the stamps depict Dandiya Dance of India and Pauliteiros Dance of Portugal. A miniature sheet has also been released.
 
Dandiya dance is the most popular traditional folk dance form of Gujarat. It is a special feature of the Navratri festival. Dandiya is a dance form usually performed in a group, by both men and women. The special feature of the Dandiya dance is the colourful attire worn by the dancers and the colourful sticks carried by them. The wooden sticks are used as prop and are beautifully decorated. Dandiya dance or Raas is also associated with scenes of Holi, and lila of Krishna and Radha at Vrindavan.
 
The Portuguese stick dance known as dança dos paulitos or Pauliteiros. Male stick dancers from North Eastern Portugal are called “Pauliteiros” – a word that derives from “paulito” (small stick). The stick dance of binary metrum is called dança dos paus, dança dos paulitos, dança dos Pauliteiros and, in Mirandês language, la dança and dança de palotes. The dance is characterized by the use of two sticks that the dancers hit to the rhythm of the music played by the gaiteiros, a musical group composed by gaita-de-foles (bagpipe), caixa (small drum) and bombo (big drum), or by the so called tamborileiro, i. e. the individual that plays tamboril (drum) and fraita (three-holed pastoral flute) at the same time. It is performed by eight men in a specific costume, either comprising white embroidered skirts, woolen socks, decorated vests (coletes) and hats, or black trousers, white shirts, black vests and decorated hats.
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Commemorative Stamps on Legendary Singers of India released on 30th December 2016.
 
Department of Posts released a set of ten commemorative stamps and a miniature sheet on Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Hemant Kumar, Bhupen Hazarika, Geeta Dutt, T. M. Soundarajrajan and Shamshad Begum under Legendary Singers series on 30th December 2016.
 
Talat Mahmood (February 1924 – 9 May 1998) is considered one of the greatest male singers in India. A born singer with an intuitive sense of beauty, charm and grace; a legendary Indian playback singer who created his own new style of ghazal singing which was to be followed afterwards. Talat Mahmood received Padma Bhushan in 1992, in recognition of his artistic contributions in the spheres of cinematic and ghazal music.
 
Prabodh Chandra Dey (1 May 1919 − 24 October 2013), known by his stage name Manna Dey, was a playback singer. He debuted in the film Tamanna in 1942, by this song "Upar Gagan Bishal" and went on to record more than 4,000 songs from 1942 to 2013. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1971, the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2007. Manna Dey sang in all the major regional Indian languages, though primarily in Hindi and Bengali. His peak period in Hindi playback singing was from 1953 to 1976.
 
Mohammed Rafi (24 December 1924 – 31 July 1980) was one of the most popular singers of the Hindi film industry. Rafi was notable for his versatility; his songs ranged from classical numbers to patriotic songs, sad lamentations to highly romantic numbers, qawwalis to ghazals and bhajans. He was known for his ability to mould his voice to the persona of the actor, lip-synching the song on screen in the movie. Between 1950 and 1970, Rafi was the most sought after singer in the Hindi film industry. He received six Filmfare Awards and one National Film Award. In 1967, he was honoured with the Padma Shri award by the Government of India. Rafi is primarily noted for his songs in Hindi, over which he had a strong command. It is believed that he sang about 7,400 songs in many languages. He sang in other Indian languages including Assamese, Konkani, Bhojpuri, Odia, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Sindhi, Kannada, Gujarati, Telugu, Magahi, Maithili and Urdu. Apart from Indian languages, he also sang songs in English, Farsi, Arabic, Sinhalese, Creole and Dutch.
 
Kishore Kumar (4 August 1929 – 13 October 1987) was a famous playback singer, actor, lyricist, composer, producer, director and screenwriter. He is considered one of the most successful playback singers of the Hindi film industry. Apart from Hindi, he sang in many Indian languages including Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam, Odia, and Urdu. He has also sung in private albums in several languages especially in Bengali which are noted as all-time classics. He won 8 Filmfare Awards for Best Male Playback Singer and holds the record for winning the most Filmfare Awards in that category. He was awarded the "Lata Mangeshkar Award" by the Madhya Pradesh government and from that year onwards, the Madhya Pradesh Government initiated a new award called the "Kishore Kumar Award" for contributions to Hindi cinema.
 
Mukesh Chand Mathur (22 July 1923 – 27 August 1976), better known mononymously as Mukesh, was a playback singer of Hindi movies. Along with Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar, he was one of the most popular and legendary singer of his era. Amongst the numerous nominations and awards he won, his song "Kai Baar Yuhi Dekha Hai" from film Rajnigandha (1973) won him the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer. Mukesh was also popular as being the voice of the actor Raj Kapoor. Mukesh's voice was first noticed by Motilal, a distant relative, when he sang at his sister's wedding. Motilal took him to Mumbai and arranged for singing lessons by Pandit Jagannath Prasad. During this period Mukesh was offered a role as an actor-singer in a Hindi film, Nirdosh (1941). His first song was "Dil Hi Bujha Hua Ho To" as an actor-singer for Nirdosh. He got his break as a playback singer for actor Motilal in 1945 with the film Pehli Nazar with music composed by Anil Biswas and lyrics written by Aah Sitapuri. The first song that he sang for a Hindi film was "Dil Jalta Hai To Jalne De".
 
 
Hemanta Mukherjee, often credited as Hemant Kumar (16 June 1920 – 26 September 1989), was a playback singer, music director and film producer, who sang in Bengali, Hindi and other Indian languages. He won two National awards for the category best male playback singer. Hemanta was born in the city of Varanasi, India. His family originated from Baharu village in West Bengal. They migrated to Kolkata in the early 1900s. Hemanta grew up there and attended Nasiruddin School and later Mitra Institution school of Bhawanipore area. There he met his longtime friend Subhas Mukhopadhyay who later became a Bengali poet. During this time, he developed a friendship with the noted writer Santosh Kumar Ghosh. At that time, Hemanta wrote short stories, Santosh Kumar wrote poems and Subhash Mukhopadhyay sang songs.
 
Bhupen Hazarika (1926–2011) was a lyricist, musician, singer, poet and film-maker from Assam, widely known as Sudhakantha. His songs, written and sung mainly in the Assamese language by himself, are marked by humanity and universal brotherhood and have been translated and sung in many languages, most notably in Bengali and Hindi. His songs, based on the themes of communal amity, universal justice and empathy, have become popular among the people of Assam, besides West Bengal and Bangladesh. He is also acknowledged to have introduced the culture and folk music of Assam and Northeast India to Hindi cinema at the national level. He received the National Film Award for Best Music Direction in 1975. Recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987), Padmashri (1997), and Padmabhushan (2001), Hazarika was awarded with Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1992), India's highest award in cinema, by the Government of India and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (2008), the highest award of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's The National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama. He was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award, in 2012. Hazarika also held the position of the Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi from December 1998 to December 2003.
 
Geeta Dutt (born Geetā Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri; 23 November 1930 – 20 July 1972 was a prominent singer, born in Faridpur before the Partition of India. She found particular prominence as a playback singer in Hindi cinema. She also sang many modern Bengali songs, both in film and non-film genre. Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri was one of 10 children born to a wealthy Zamindar family in a village named Idilpur, presently under Gosairhat Upzilla of Shariatpur District, Bangladesh, formerly under Faridpur district in Bengal, British India. Her family moved to Calcutta and Assam in the early forties, leaving behind their land and properties. In 1942, her parents moved to an apartment in Bombay. Geeta was twelve and continued her schooling at the Bengali High School.
 
Thoguluva Meenatchi Iyengar Soundararajan (24 March 1922 – 25 May 2013), popularly known as TMS, was a playback singer in Kollywood for over six decades. He gave his voice to actors and thespians in the South Indian film industry such as M. G. Ramachandran, Sivaji Ganesan, N. T. Rama Rao, Gemini Ganesan, S. S. Rajendran, Jaishankar, Ravichandar, AVM Rajan, Muthuraman, Nagesh, Rajkumar and A. Nageswara Rao. He also gave his voice to many new generation actors like Kamalahasan, Rajanikanth, Vijayakanth, Satyaraj, Rajesh, Prabhu, Vijaya Kumar and in five generation actors. He has sung over 20,000 film songs from more than 5,000 films. He has sung over 3,000 devotionals classical songs. He has also given classical concerts since 1945. In a career spanning over 6 decades he has recorded film songs in eleven languages including, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and other Indian languages. He also composed music for many of the ever-green devotional songs that were recorded. He was the music director for the film "Bala Parikshai". His peak period as a male playback singer in the South Indian film industry was from 1955 to 1985. Soundararajan died on 25 May 2013 at his residence in Mandaveli, Chennai due to illness. He was 91 years old at the time of his death.
 
Shamshad Begum (14 April 1919 – 23 April 2013) was an Indian singer who was one of the first playback singers in the Hindi film industry. She had a distinctive voice and was a versatile artist, singing over 6,000 songs in Hindi and the Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil and Punjabi languages and of them 1287 songs were Hindi film songs. She worked with maestros including Naushad Ali, S. D. Burman, C. Ramchandra and O. P. Nayyar. Her songs from the 1940s to the early 1970s remain popular and continue to be remixed. She was born in Lahore of modern day Pakistan on 14 April 1919, the day after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place in nearby Amritsar city. She was one of eight children, five sons and three daughters, born to a conservative Muslim family of limited means. Her father, Mian Hussain Baksh Maan, worked as a mechanic, and her mother, Ghulam Fatima, was a pious lady of conservative disposition, a devoted wife and mother who raised her children with traditional family values.
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Commemorative Stamp on Hardayal Municipal Heritage Public Library released on 26th December 2016.
 
Hardayal Municipal Public Library is situated in the heart of Chandni Chowk and is one of the very few oldest buildings that have been able to withstand the onslaught of modern times. The library was set up in 1862 as a part of a reading club for Englishmen. The books were given to the reading room, called the Institute Library, which was part of the Lawrence Institute, named after the then Viceroy of India. In 1902, the library was renamed Delhi Public Library.Delhi Public Library was renamed Hardinge Municipal Library in 1916. In 1970, Hardinge Library became Hardayal Library. It has a unique collection of more than 1,70,000 books in Hindi, English, Urdu, Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit. This is one of the few Libraries in the world with a collection of at least 8,000 rare books.
 
Department of Posts released a commemorative stamp on Hardayal Municipal Heritage Public Library on 26th December 2016 at the function held to release commemorative stamps on Personalities of Bihar at New Delhi by Smt Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare in presence of Mr. B. V. Sudhakar, Secretary, Department of Posts & Chairperson, Postal Services Board, Shri A. N. Nanda, Member (Banking & HRD) and Hardayal Municipal Public Library Chairperson Shobha Vijender.
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Latest issue of 'Vadophil' Issue no. 148, quarterly newsletter of Baroda Philatelic Society is out.

Visit http://www.vadophil.org/vadophil_148.pdf
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Commemorative Stamp on Season’s Greetings released on 23rd December 2016.
 
Department of Posts released a set of two stamps in denomination of Rs. 10 and Rs. 20, a Miniature Sheet and two sheetlets on Season’s Greetings on 23rd December, 2016.
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Commemorative Stamp on Acharya Vimal Sagar released on 14th December 2016.
 
Shri Vimal Sagarji Maharaj is recognized as a Digambar Jain Acharya of the 20th century, known as a Vatsalya Murti and Sant Shiromani for his Tapasya, Riddhi-Siddhi, Scholarship, Gyan, Siddha Bhakti. He was born on 7th day of Ashwin Krishan in 1915 at Kosma in Uttar Pradesh. His real name before taking Deeksha was Nemichand Jain. He took Deeksha on 13th day of Falgun Shukla in 1952.  In the year of 1960, he was awarded by “Acharya Pad” from the blessing and permission by Acharya Shri Mahavirkirtiji Maharaj.  In 1963 he was awarded a “Charitra Chakraworty Pad” and in 1979 he was awarded “Sanmati Divakar Pad”. Acharya Shri Vimal Sagarji took Samadhi on 12th day of Poash Krishna in 1994 at auspicious “Siddha Kshetra Shri Sammedshikharji.
 
Communication Minister Shri Manoj Sinha released commemorative stamp on Acharya Vimalsagar Ji Maharaj on 14th December 2016 at a function organized at Dak Bhawan, New Delhi.
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