Bhopal, June 29 : A man in Bhopal has collected over 6,000 matchboxes to get into the record books. The matchboxes' price range varies between two paise to rupees 15.
Forty-year-old Sunil Kumar Bhatt, an employee of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), has collected matchboxes of Indian make as well as foreign including the complimentary ones of star-rated hotels.
It's been 27 years since Sunil took to the hobby of collecting matchboxes. His matchless collection includes the vintage ones that cost two paise and some of them are as expensive as 15 rupees.
The collection of imported matchboxes include from Sweden, France, Russia, England, Bulgaria, Japan, Austria and Pakistan. Though Sunil never visited any country but he his acquaintances and other friends used to bring matchboxes for him as present.
"I used to play with matchboxes in my childhood. My aunt's son had a fancy of collecting stamps but I was not able to collect stamps because the varieties of stamps were usually not available in village. Then I thought about collecting matchboxes with which I could play. Also, my father asked me to start collecting matchboxes since then I am collecting them," Sunil said.
"I am collecting it (matchboxes) for past 27 years and I have zeal of doing it. Often people ask me why I pick up from the road. But there is the zeal in me for that. The matchboxes are of no value for them but they are of big importance in my life," Sunil added.
Initially, Sunil's family showed no interest in such a hobby but now they want to see his feat recognised globally. In fact, the family now helps him in his feat.
"Our entire family, brothers, sister and all support him. In the beginning, I didn't like it because I had never seen such a collection. But now I have developed a liking for it, the collection has increased much. The neighbours come to watch the collection and encourage him. He is heading towards the world record, so everybody and even kids supports him," said Tripti Bhatt, Sunil's wife.
Sunil wants to see his name in the Guinness Book of World Records.