WBMPA celebrates Gutenberg festival, felicitates Kamal Chopra

The West Bengal Master Printers’ Association (WBMPA) hosted the Gutenberg Festival, where Kamal Mohan Chopra was honoured for his contributions and achievements in the printing and packaging industry.

15 May 2024 | By Aditya Ghosalkar

The WBMPA organised the celebration to remember Johannes Gutenberg, regarded as the father of modern printing - his invention of the movable-type along with the printing press, and his contribution to the rise of print technology. The Gutenberg festival aims to honour a key figure in the development of printing technology, as an ode to Gutenberg since the 15th century.

The festival felicitated Kamal Mohan Chopra, the owner of Foil Printers in Ludhiana. Chopra has been a jack of all trades in the printing industry. Readers of PrintWeek can recall, one of many honours, Chopra was the first Indian to head World Print and Communication Forum (WPCF) - a knowledge sharing platform working for the development and progress of the printing and packaging sector worldwide. Besides, the show featured lectures, discussion and other activities centred around Gutenberg's contributions to printing and their impact on communication, literacy, and the spread of knowledge.

Tunir Deb, the honorary treasurer, WBMPA calls Chopra the brainchild of the Print Olympiad, one of its kind competition in the world. His contributions to the printing and packing sector include the Viren Chhabra Print Leadership Award (VCPLA) and the Global Print Excellence Awards (GPEA). He added, “Kamal is a man on a mission. He coined the slogan, ‘Proud to be a Printer’. He is the only printer whose work on the history of printing is preserved at the Printing History Museum in Beijing, China, and in Gutenberg Museum Mainz, Germany. Chopra is also the only one who has been designated as an honorary professor at the Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, the world's largest university of printing technology in Beijing.”

Deb spoke about how Gutenberg's principles reaffirm the industry the value of books and literature, in an era dominated by screens and pixels.

Tarun Ganguly, president of the WBMPA said, “We are fortunate that a personality like Chopra is with us. In case of any challenge, he is the source of solutions for the printers of India. He is a man with a wide network and has formed sixty-two new printers’ associations. He is a clear example of what one can achieve with determination, sincerity, and hard work.”

Additionally, the honorary secretary at the WBMPA, Arijit Dutta called the Gutenberg featival a platform for authors, publishers, and readers to come together, to exchange ideas, and to celebrate the rich diversity of human expression. He appreciated Chopra’s efforts and achievements and said, “Kamal has almost single-handedly given a fillip to the printing, packaging, and allied fields. He has given printing industry entrepreneurs recognition among 'National builders'.”

Chopra acknowledged, “I am indebted to the WBMPA, one of India's oldest printers’ associations. I am a printer and always love and feel proud about it. As we gather to celebrate the Gutenberg Festival, I am honoured to receive a shower of blessings. Any challenge is no challenge when we try to face it jointly because unity has abundant power.” He remembered the words of the Gutenberg: "Print is the greatest gift of mankind, and it is our responsibility to cherish it, to protect it, and to ensure that it continues to inspire and enlighten future generations."

Surindra Dhote, former president of AIFMP points out the conjunction of the two celebrations. One, gathering in the name of the ‘Father of Modern Printing’, Gutenberg. Two, felicitating the internationally renowned personality of the printing sector, Chopra. Also, Vinod Jain and Sandip Sanyal highlighted the role of a printing press in the spread of renaisannce, reformation, scientific revolution by making texts accessible to a broader audience, including scholars, clergy and the emerging middle class.