The award was presented at Printers’ Day celebrated on 4th March by Mumbai Mudrak Sangh.
On March 4, 2017, as a part of the Printers’ Day celebrations, the Mumbai Mudrak Sangh’ Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 was conferred upon C.N. Ashok of Autoprint, in the presence of Prof. Kamal Chopra, President AIFMP; and Anuradha Prabhudesai, Founder President, Lakshya Foundation. As a part of the day-long celebration of the Printers’ Day organized by MMS at Garware Club House, the MMS Lifetime Achievement Awards 2017 ceremony had the best moments of the day with some insightful and inspirational speeches, and of course, the much awaited award acceptance speech by C.N. Ashok.
Dedicated to the nation
The award ceremony began with the inspirational and power-packed speech by Anuradha Prabhudesai, an ordinary working woman from Mumbai, who travelled to Ladakh on a vacation some 15 years ago. She learned about the 1991 Kargil war from the young Indian Army soldiers she met during her vacation, and that experience changed her life. “I did not know about the intensity and the gravity of the war situation in Mumbai.” Mrs Prabhudesai began her speech with a confession, “A young boy from the Jammu and Kashmir valley first noticed the Pakistani infiltrators and informed the Indian Army post. He could identify their weapon as AK-47. I could not imagine the plight of the young boy who could identify the machine gun from a distance and who knew exactly what had to be done in such a situation. That moment I decided that I wanted to learn more about our Army, our soldiers and their brave stories that brought us victory in the Kargil war.”
“The immense bravery and hardships of our soldiers on the borders, and on Siachen glaciers keeps us all safe in the country. They lay their lives with a smile on their faces to protect our freedom as citizens of this country,” Mrs Prabhudesai went on the share the inspiring stories of the Kargil war heroes and other soldiers. She shared the stories of the four recipients of the country’s highest gallantry award, the Param Vir Chakra for their brave combats during the 1991 Kargil war – Captain Vikram Batra and Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey who received the award posthumously and Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav and Rifleman Sanjay Kumar who are still serving in the Indian Army.
Mrs Prabhudesai’s presentation was full of stories and audio-visual content from her interactions with soldiers, on and off the field. Her 40-minute speech certainly left everyone charged and motivated to meet the man of the day, the LTA awardee C.N. Ashok.
A humble man, with a charming smile
Mrs Prabhudesai, the guest of honour of the award ceremony presented the award scroll to Mr C N Ashok. Prof. Kamal Chopra, President AIFMP, the chief guest of the award ceremony presented C N Ashok with the prestigious ‘clapping hands trophy’ of the MMS Lifetime Achievement Award. “I am from Coimbatore, a small town in South India. MMS is a well-known trade association from Mumbai. I am deeply honoured and humbled by the fact that you chose me for this award.” Speaking about delivering machines to the Indian Army, Mr Ashok proudly said, “I am happy I made my town proud,” said C.N. Ashok as he received the MMS’ Lifetime Achievement Award 2017.
“Our machines are used for printing instruction manuals for Bofors guns. We have over 100 machines installed at different defence facilities across India. What belief got me here? Many people ask me.” Mr Ashok shared the mantra of his success, “I had strong internal conviction. I had the courage to back my conviction. And, I was committed to bring my conviction into a reality.” Mr Ashok said that while thinking about conviction, courage and commitment, he draws inspiration from many great people; especially the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi.
“I knew that with growing literacy, printing will grow. I began my business with commitment to install at least one machine in each PIN code area in the country.” Mr Ashok added, “I quit my practice as a chartered accountant, and plunged into the business. That was a courageous decision, however, conviction and commitment has got me here.”
“On my 50th birthday, I wrote personal letters to 25 people who helped shaped my life; my basketball teacher, my driver, my school teacher, the first manager who later left the company and a few more. I think, thanking and acknowledging people who contribute to your life is important. I am thankful to all of you who are present here for the ceremony,” concluded Mr Ashok on a very humble note.
Perusing the ‘Made In India’ agenda
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Chopra said, “I must congratulate Mr Ashok for the award, and Team MMS for the wonderful selection in Mr Ashok.” He added, “I take away something new each time from the MMS event. The last time we had the Round Table conference arranged at one of the AIFMP events; inspired by the conference ideated here.”
“C.N. Ashok is a very persuasive man. I still remember the early day informational brochure, published in many languages, telling the printers how beneficial it was for them to shift from Letterpresses to the Offset machines made by his company.” Mr Chopra added, “About two decades ago, he was persuading printers to adopt a newer technology in India. He put in honest efforts to truly push the ‘Made In India’ machines to our printers.”
Prof Chopra also spoke about the future of Print. “The days of printing on paper with ink are running out fast. The change is inevitable and it is important for us to carry the message of change to our printers. We must prepare our printers for new technologies, for example, printed electronics and 3D printing.” He shared the information about various training programmes promoted by AIFMP for the benefit of printers.