The award was presented to him by his son Vickrant in the presence of Prof Sarika Sharma, registrar CUH, dean and HoD, SoET; Prof Kamal Mohan Chopra, president World Print and Communication Forum (WPCF), and P Chander, president, All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP).
Speaking on occasion, Gupta said, “My father was a great visionary. He believed in doing big things whereas I have led a contented life. This has helped me in attaining two hallmarks in my life — quality and punctuality. My son has inherited many of the qualities of his grandfather. At the inauguration of our printing press, 4,000 invitation cards were distributed among almost all the business establishments in Jammu. At that time, printing presses were using Bronze Blue 9540, red and black inks. To be different and to experiment, we used fluorescent inks for the first time in Jammu. Impressed with the quality, Mr Ghosh of Ganges Inks especially came over to Jammu. On his invitation, I had visited the Ganges Inks manufacturing unit at Vikroli in Mumbai.”
The OPA Path Maker award is conferred on a person who has thought about networking so that the local printing industry can gain new heights. The award recognises those persons.
The printing industry in Jammu and Kashmir is almost 165 years old. Between 1856 to 1875, the Dogra rulers established small printing presses at different places in Jammu to print religious and official stationery. The Ranbir Government Press was established by Maharaja Partap Singh in 1890 by merging all the small printing presses established by earlier Dogra rulers.
As per available records, the first private commercial printing press was established by Mulk Raj Saraf in 1924 at Panjtirthi (Jammu). Almost at the same time, a litho machine was added at the Ranbir Government Press to print 10,000 copies of the Ranbir Magazine. During 1938-40, three more printing presses were established as private establishments to print newspapers and religious literature. A few more presses came up before Independence, including the Bharti Press, established by the women entrepreneur Shanta Bharti.
After Independence, Jammu being a border city, the progress of printing remained at low ebbs. From 1958 to 64, many new printing presses came into existence.
It was the time when SK Gupta (born in 1934) joined the printing business and established Sher-i-State Printing Press in 1964. After noticing the situation and misery of the printers, with his persuasion, the first printers’ association, Jammu Printers’ Association, was established in 1965, though due to technical reasons, the association could not advance past its first meeting. Later, with Gupta’s intervention, efforts were made to unite the printers. Another effort was made in 1972, but this too could not go past a few meetings.
Knowing the importance of networking, Gupta kept on trying and finally in 1980, it became possible to reorganise the Jammu Printers Association.
SK Gupta has been associated with the Printing Associations of Jammu for over 56 years. He has been the founder member and three-times past-president of the association, which has been in existence for the past 42 years. During his tenure as president, JPA got affiliated to the AIFMP and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Being a visionary, Gupta has led the JPA delegation of Jammu printers to the fifth World Print Congress and the first SAARC Printers Conference. He was also instrumental in introducing the awards for excellence in printing by the Jammu printers.
T Prasad Memorial print contest
The Offset Printers’ Association (OPA) organised a Printers Meet at the Northern Regional Institute of Printing Technology (NRIPT), Prayagraj to felicitate the winning students of the T Prasad Memorial print contest. This print competition, only for the students currently studying at NRIPT, was conducted on a virtual platform. The event, organised with the support of the Allahabad Printers’ Welfare Association (APWA), took place on 12 May.
Welcoming the alumni of NRIPT, members of APWA, other guests present on the occasion and the students of NRIPT, BK Srivastava said that he was happy to see past students of the institute shining in the field.
Arvind Kumar Pandey, president APWA said the NRIPT is like a knowledge garden from where everyone is getting qualified print professionals.
Giving a brief overview about the late T Prasad, Prof Sanjay Srivastava, guest of honour and son of T Prasad, said, “My father was a well-known printing technologist and remained the Principal of NRIPT from 1982 to 1993. He was the student of the first batch at NRIPT and completed his studies in printing in 1959. He joined the Times of India group in 1959 as management trainee, but his love for NRIPT brought him back to the institute in 1960 as lecturer of Letterpress technology. In 1971, he was elevated to the position of head of the department.”
Prasad also contributed to the modernisation of several printing presses of the government of India and universities. He was a visiting faculty to the Motilal Nehru Regional Engineering College, Allahabad (now MNIT, Allahabad). He served in several important committees of the government of India and state governments.
On the behalf of OPA, Prof Kamal Mohan Chopra introduced the winning students one by one to receive their honours from the chief guest and other dignitaries.
The T Prasad Memorial Gold Medal certificate and a cheque for Rs 25,000 was presented to Vinayak for being the Best Print Student for the year 2022. Pranjal Singh Yadav and Shreyansh Mishra were adjudged second and third respectively.