It was a magnificent achievement for the pioneers who felt the necessity and conceived the idea of forming a Printers' Association in the State for protecting the interest of printers and for the growth of the printing industry on a common platform. This concept was the seed from which was born, presently known West Bengal Master Printers' Association in the year 1936 which has experienced many ups and downs during the long period of its journey.
In 1936 the Association was started in the name of Calcutta Printing Press Owners' Association at 1, Ramanath Majumdar Street, Calcutta and Krishna Kumar Mitra, Editor of the 'Sanjibani' was the First President. In 1936 the office of the Association was shifted to 32, Acharya Profulla Chandra Road, Calcutta. After the demise of Krishna Kumar Mitra, the previous committee was reconstituted with Suresh Chandra Majumdar of Sree Gouranga Press as President.
In September, 1955, the Association organized the West Bengal Printers' Conference at Subarna Banik Samaj Hall, Calcutta, the first such conference of the Printers of the State ever held. It was a historical event.A vernacular Monthly Journal 'Mudran Barta' was published. But it was short-lived. Thereafter, under the guidance of Shri Sudhir Chandra Mukherjee, Past President, AIFMP and Past President, WBMPA, the Association's House Journal 'Printers' Voice' began its journey. Late Sudhir Chandra Mukherjee was the founder Editor of the said journal.
The name of Calcutta Printing Press Owners' Association was changed to Calcutta Association of Master Printers in 1955.1n 1961 our Association celebrated the Silver Jubilee. The venue was Wellington Square (presently known as Raja Subodh Mullick Square). The Conference and Exhibition was inaugurated by Hon'ble Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal.
Thereafter, Santi Kumar Ghosh felt that the Association badly needed a building of its own. To, obviate the problem of arranging fund for this purpose, a suggestion was unanimously accepted that members should arrange for a yearly cultural programme with a drama in which members themselves would participate and move forward to publish a Souvenir with advertisements from members, printers' providers and well-wishers. The first such stage programme was 'Bharate Chai'. This was the process of amassing fund, which was meticulously maintained and out of this fund on 4th July, 1966 the Association purchased its present building, an old one having a single Hall with an office room at 32/1A, Creek Lane, Kolkata - 700 014. In order to make the Association broad-based the name was changed to West Bengal Master Printers' Association Ltd. in 1967 and thereafter to West Bengal Master Printers' Association. Regular meetings of the Association are being held where problems of the printing industry are discussed and possibilities of improvement in the technical development of printing presses are explored. In 1997 the Association premises was rebuilt with two floors having a fully Airconditioned Conference room and an office.
Our Association being one of the founder members of the All India Federation of Master Printers had the opportunity to host many Governing Council Meetings in Calcutta. The 19th All India Printers Conference and Exhibition was organized by WBMPA in 1978 at Calcutta. The Conference and Exhibition was inaugurated by the then Hon'ble Chief Minister of West Bengal, Jyoti Basu on 24th November, 1978 on the spacious Maidan Ground.
The venue of Conference and Exhibition was made entirely of bamboo and textile materials having a posh auditorium exuding refinement in its eye appeal. This 1978 being the Silver Jubilee Year of the All India Federation of Master Printers acquired added glamour. The Chairman of host Association WBMPA was Late Sudhir Chandra Mukheijee and Organizing Secretary was Late Sunil Kumar Das. Amongst the dignitaries were Late Tushar Kanti Ghosh, Editor of Jugantar and Amrita Bazar Patrika, Hon'ble Kanai Lal Bhattacharjee, the then Minister-in- charge, Commerce and Industry, Govt. of West Bengal, Shri P. K. Sanyal a renowned personality of advertising and marketing world delivered speeches before 600 delegates. WBMPA was awarded Late K. N. Seal Memorial Trophy in appreciation of its outstanding performance in organizing the 19th All India Printers Conference and Exhibition in the very presence of the then Hon'ble Sheriff of Calcutta. Concept of Pamex is the later outcome.
WBMPA has a long relationship with the Publishers' Guild in bookfairs held every year in the Maidan. WBMPA had the privilege of being associated in celebrating the bi-centinary of Bengal Printing and Publishing at Calcutta Maidan in 1979 under the auspices of the Ananda Bazar Patrika, in which many well-known Bengali Printing technologists, writers and scholars participated. The subject discussed was 'The Present Condition of Bengali Printing'. Dr. Sukomol Sen opened the function and Satyajit Ray opened the bookfair held in this connection. The second day of the seminar was presided over by Late Sudhir Chandra Mukherjee, President of WBMPA. Each year WBMPA displays various aspects of printing, in the Book Fair to establish the fact that printers and publishers go together..'Boi Melar Khobar' used to be printed from the stall of WBMPA and distributed to all visitors at the Fair Ground. WBMPA organized 'History of Printing' and displayed hand-press printing machine in running condition and printing on wooden blocks. The display was organized in the Main Pavilion at Book Fair in association with the National Book Trust of India and was a major attraction to visitors at the Book Fair. Until recently to promote quality printing and publication of books, WBMPA awarded the 'Best Printed' & 'Best Published' books at Book Fair.
In the year 1986 WBMPA celebrated the Golden Jubilee at the St. Paul's Cathedral Compound in Calcutta and an exhibition of printing and allied machineries was displayed. The said celebration was inaugurated by the then Hon'ble Nirmal Mazumdar, Minister-in-charge, Commerce and Industry, Govt. of West Bengal and Hon'ble Shri M. Arunachalam, the then Union Minister of Industry, Govt. of India was the Chief Guest. It was a great moment of joy for all those who were present when our respected Nirod Kanta Gossain, Past President, WBMPA hosted the Golden Jubilee Flag of the Association. The venue of the Conference and Exhibition was made entirely of bamboo and textile materials having a posh auditorium and a display room on the process and evolution of printing which was supported and patronized by the Ananda Bazar Patrika. Group. There were delegates and guests from all over India.
In 1991 WBMPA organized the 25th All India Printers Conference and Pamex 91 at Salt Lake Stadium. This was the first time that Calcutta witnessed such an elaborate and detailed Exhibition which displayed modern printing machines and live demonstration. Around 1700 delegates from all over the world participated in the Conference and Exhibition. The august presence of Mother Teresa, the then Hon'ble Chief Minister, Govt. of West Bengal Jyoti Basu, Hon'ble Sports Minister, Subhash Chakraborty, Hon'ble J.Irani of The Statesman, Hon'ble K. L. Chugh, Chairman, ITC Ltd. gave a special flavour to the entire inaugural function.
The WBMPA Print Promotion 93 was held at Calcutta Ice Skating Rink where Table Top, Offset, DTP machines, small Offset machines, Silk Screen and Gravure machines were demonstrated. The main objective of organizing the Exhibition was to instill new ideas and latest technological skill in entrepreneurs particularly, small and medium scale printers.
Initial arrangement for starting a printing school was made by the Association but because of financial problem the project fell through. The dream of the Association of a printing school materialize when in 1954 the first Eastern Regional School of Printing Technology was established under the aegis of Govt. of India. The necessity of staring a Degree Course in Printing in West Bengal has been felt for long by our Association. The dream came true in 1990 when Jadavpur University opened the new faculty in Printing Technology within the University Campus. Every year on the Printers' Day WBMPA awards scholarships to meritorious students of RIPT of Jadavpur.
Our Association has always been interacting with our Govt. for the cause of industry and has been successful in its effort to convince the Govt. of introducting a simplified process for renewal of different licence. And the present issuance of enlistment certificates by KMC by post to all institutions is the first outcome of our Association's representation. On the representation of WBMPA, Govt. of West Bengal reduced the works contract rate on VAT from 12.5% to 4% on Printing.
In 1996 WBMPA celebrated the Diamond Jubilee at Netaji Indoor Stadium. The celebration ceremony was inaugurated by Hon'ble Shri Somnath Chatterjee, the then M.P. and Chairman of West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. Many dignitaries of the Printing Industry attended the ceremony. A Printing Machinery Exhibition, a regional print excellence award ceremony and a cultural programme was organized.
In July 2001 WBMPA organized a seminar 'Path Finder – Print Industry Development' coinciding with the 170th Governing Council Meeting of AIFMP at the Golden Park Hotel, Kolkata. The seminar was inaugurated by Hon'ble Md. Salim, Minister for Technical Education, Govt. of West Bengal. Shri Pradeep Dhobale and Shri Chittaranjan Dhar of ITC, Bhadrachalam were the Guest Speakers. Shri Swapan Dutta of Coates of India (presently known as DIC) was awarded for outstanding achievement in Graphic Industry by the President of AIFMP.
To commemorate the Golden Jubilee Year of AIFMP' Eastern Print Award' was organized by WBMPA at Hotel Golden Park in Kolkata to promote Excellence in Printing along with the Governing Council Meeting of AIFMP in 2003. Hon'ble Md. Salim, the then Minister, Govt. of West Bengal distributed the awards and Hon'ble Dr. Ashim Dasgupta, Finance Minister, Govt. of West Bengal was the Chief Guest.
National Awards for excellence in printing (NAEP) is the only national honour of its kind to recognize excellence in printing craftsmanship. The 4th NAEP was organized by the WBMPA at the Science City Auditorium in Kolkata. WBMPA for his relentless service in recording the second highest number of entries from Eastern Region in any NAEP.
In 2009 the Mission of our Association was to integrate the Industry for its growth in a viable manner. With this object in view WBMPA, commensurate with the 75th Anniversary of the Association, organized a Printing and Packaging Trade Fair "Eastern Print Pack 2009" at 'Melan Mela' Exhibition centre in Kolkata from 26th November, 2009 to 29th November, 2009 to provide a comprehensive awareness and facilitate a platform for the printing fraternity. The Exhibition was inaugurated by Hon'ble Shri Nirupam Sen, Minister-in-charge, Commerce and Industry, Govt. of West Bengal. A very meaningful 2-day Conference was organized at Science City Main Auditorium on 27th and 28th November, 2009 where eminent speakers from abroad and India spoke on the future of the Printing Industry. The theme of the conference was "email@example.com". The Conference was inaugurated by Hon'ble Manabendra Mukherjee, Minister, Govt. of West Bengal. The Conference and Exhibition has been recognized as one of the largest shows in South East Asia.
In 2010 WBMPA celebrated its Platinum Jubilee programme (75 years) for 2 days. 1st day programme was inaugurated by Hon'ble Sri Somnath Chatterjee Former Speaker of Lok Sabha at Tolly gunge Club, Kolkata where a seminar involving the printing Fraternity was also organised and which was attended by many dignitaries of the printing industry. A cultural programme was held on the 2nd day at Swabhumi, kolkata which was inaugurated by Former Captain of Indian Cricket Team Sri Sourav Ganguly.
In 2012, WBMPA – EPPS 2012 was held once again like 2009 at Milan Mela Ground, 1st to 4th Nov., 2012. Such exhibition was inaugurated by the President AIFMP Sri Govind Bhargava. Sri Rajneesh Moonja, Hony. General Secretary, AIFMP and Sri Zulkar Hassan, Hony. Secretary, Bangladesh Mudran Shilpa Samity also attended the inaugural show. It was also a grand success.
All these event were well appreciated by Exhibitors in terms of Turnover and Visitors for Print, Packaging & Signage machineries with live demonstration and consumables. Kolkata being the gateway of South East Asia a good number of visitors/participants from neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan & neighboring states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Assam and total North East India States also attended those last events.
Late Krishna Kumar Mitra
Late Suresh Chandra Majumder
Sree Gouranga Press
Late Hrishikesh Dass
The Eagle Lithographing Co. (P) Ltd
Late Dwarika Nath Dhar
Imperial Art College
Late Shanti Coomer Ghosh
Calcutta Press Private Limited
Late Nirode Kanta Gossain
N.K. Gossain & Co. Pvt. Ltd.
Late Gopal Chandra Roy
Navana Priniting Works (P) Ltd.
Late Sailendra Nath Guha Ray
Sree Swaraswati Press Limited
Late Sudhindra Nath Banerjee
The Lotus Press
Late Sudhir Chandra Mukherjee
The Radiant Process Pvt. Ltd.
Late Phani Bhusan Deb
Ananda Offset Pvt. Ltd.
Late Sunil Kumar Dass
The Eagle Lithographing Co(P) Ltd.
Shri Santosh Kumar Banerjee
N.K. Gossain & Co. Pvt. Ltd.
Leaders of WBMPA who dignified the chair of President of AIFMP during Past 60 years.
Late Suresh Chandra Majumder
(1954 - 1955)
Late H. Ghosh
(1956 - 1957)
Late Hrishikesh Dass
(1960 - 1961)
Late Nirode Kanta Gossain
(1966 - 1967)
Late Sailendra Nath Guha Roy
(1970 - 1972)
Late Debi Prosad Chatterjee
(1979 - 1980)
Late Sudhir Chandra Mukherjee
(1983 - 1984)
Shri Prabitra Kr. Mukherjee
(1991 - 1992)
Shri Bikash Sarker
(1995 - 1996)
Shri Ranjan Kuthari
(2011 - 2012)