Prof Kamal Chopra and Ashwani Gupta, Treasurer at AIFMP visit Bhubaneswar in Orissa

Both visited under the project ‘Print Yatra’

Prof Kamal Chopra and Ashwani Gupta, Treasurer at AIFMP visit Bhubaneswar in Orissa

Ludhiana: Under the project ‘Print Yatra’, Prof. Kamal Chopra and Mr Ashwani Gupta, Treasurer at AIFMP visited Bhubaneswar (Orissa) on 9-10 February, 2020 to meet the printers for strengthening the networking. It is impossible to land at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha and not remember the famous artisit Sudarsan Pattnaik and his outstanding sand sculptures on Puri Beach. As we step out from the air conditioned airport and trudge towards the city of Bhubaneswar with the sun blazing at 32 degrees Celsius, we were discussing abut print in Odisha, a state which finds mainstream news space only when there is a cyclone or famine, beside the annual Rath Yatra in Puri. Our journey to Bhubaneswar was somewhat technical. We are here to meet the printers and to visit some of the printing units. 

Mr. Sudheer Panda, who was there at the airport to receive us, said “The city for long has resisted investing in new equipment or technology, chugging along with their old machines.”

In the recent years, however, the Government Press of Odisha at Cuttack and a private firm, Print-Tech Offset, have proven to be exceptions, with investments in brand-new Heidelberg offset machines. The print market in Odisha is dominated by the pre-owned machinery market. Also, it is concentrated in four major locations – Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Beherampur, and Rourkela. Even among these four, four-colour sheet-fed presses are found more in Bhubaneshwar than the other cities. We visited the Press Club, besides visiting some other tourist attractions before meeting the printers of the city in the evening.  

More than 25 printers of the town and surrounding areas gathered for the meeting. During the meeting the effect of digital media on print was discussed, it was elaborated how print media is influenced with this new media and how the printer can survive in such a reality.  The local printing industry is mainly dependent upon Government outsources printing work here. 
It was found that printers are not aware about the latest developments, it was also found that the printers are ignorant about the MSME schemes and benefits available from the government to the industry, even printers were not fully aware about the GST rates on printing. During discussion, Prof. Kamal Chopra stressed on the need to calculate the cost of production before quoting the rates, at the same time he suggested to form association for complete networking with AIFMP. Mr. Ashwani Gupta said, It is better to revive the ‘All Odisha Master Printers’ Association’ once again, which was functioning here some years back. After elaborate discussion printers agreed to revive the Áll Odisha Master Printers’ Association’ under the patronage of existing president Mr. Sidharath Dass. Other members of the team were nominated on the spot, Mr. Sudhir Panda was nominated the General Secretary and Mr. Ajay Kishore Mahapatra as the Treasurer, it was also agreed to send intimation to AIFMP immediately. 

Speaking on the occasion Mr. S N Mishra appreciated the efforts of Prof. Kamal Chopra and said it is greatest imitative for growth and development of the printing industry of Odisha. He thanked Mr. Sudhir Panda for his dedicated efforts in arranging such a meeting at Bhubaneswar. Mr. Sanjay Singh thanked Prof.  Kamal Chopra & Mr. Ashwani Gupta for their gracious presence and sharing valuable information and encouraging the local printers to be united once again for the benefit of all at large. Mr. Singh also congratulated the newly chosen office bearers of the association. He specially appreciated Sudhir Panda, for rendering lots of efforts in bring the printers together on one table. 

In his vote of thanks, Mr. Sidharath Dass, President AOMPA said, it is the great initiative of Prof. Kamal Chopra and Mr. Ashwani Gupta to visit Bhubaneswar for motivating the local printers and to persuade them for networking and the revival of AOMPA once again. I am also thankful to Mr. Sudhir Panda and his dedicated efforts, which could again bring us together. 

Print Yatra is a unique project and a very humble beginning of Offset Printers Association (OPA) to establish complete networking between 250,000 printers of India. Through this project OPA is motivating the printers to work jointly, form associations and come together for the overall benefit of the printing industry. This project was initiated in the year 2010 and till today a distance of more than 31,000 kilometers is covered visiting not only the length and breadth of India but also the neighboring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia etc. It is worth mentioning that due to these efforts, 63 new printers’ associations emerged mostly in Northern region.