Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Celebrating 90 years of 'inking'.


Sacred Heart School of Printing is going to celebrate its printing legacy of 90 years. The then Little Flower press was started in 1926.  Printing press made significant growth under the leadership of CMI fathers. The three storied building near Sacred Heart monastery at Thevara, Kochi has witnessed the growth of printing technology over 90 years. The first printing techniques and equipments now lead their retired life at Kerala Folklore Museum at Thevara. Initial printing mechanism was based on wooden blocks. Later the composing techniques came. Letters and symbols were moulded on metal, then they were arranged according to the text on a platform. Proof correction involved the rearrangement of blocks on the platform. The entire process was time consuming and difficult. But the technical expertise of  skilled labourers managed to do it with ease. In 1992 offset printing was introduced. Then the entire technology changed from layout to printing. Butter sheet and film techniques were initially used to make the basic stuff for printing. Desk Top Publishing and CTP technology are now reigning  the industry. Adobe page maker remains the favorite software for page developing. Employees were quiet cooperative in adapting to  changes.

Contributions of Little Flower Industrial press in the field of vocational training is considerably large. The deprived sections of  society who were not able to proceeded higher studies joined the training institute for job oriented training in binding, composing, creasing, tailoring and weaving. The press supplied fabrics for the traditional Portuguese costumes. The weaving section was in charge of production and training. Creasing deals with precise spacing, marking and  cutting of finished paper goods and printed matters. Now it is termed as ‘scoring'. A socio religious magazine was published form the press named Snehadeepam. Press had a publishing house named Janatha Book Stall which had more than 16 branches. One hundred plus employees including trainees worked in day and night shift. The main operation was manufacturing of cartons to pack different types of threads. The consignment was for ‘Kota' industries. This manufacturing operations remained as the major revenue generating activity of Little Flower Press. Due to lack of skilled labourers this production was stopped. Thus the institution began to face set backs from industry.

On the first of January 2013 Little Flower Industrial Press became SH School of printing. SH College principal Rev. Fr. Prasanth Palakkapillil is the director and Smt. Manu acts as the manager. More about the manager means more about an ordinary lady acted extraordinarily to safeguard a prestigious institution at a crucial time. Press faced a shut down situation due to various internal reasons. CMI Provincial House had no hesitation to hand over the operational responsibility to an experienced hand. Long 27 years of service for the press is something comparable to that of a mother who brought up a 27year old human being. The management is planning grant celebrations for 90th anniversary. BA students of SHSC get first hand trainings of copyediting at the press. Gradual businesses expansion projects are getting designed. SH School of Printing succeeded in making a good social contact. The people of Thevara consider this institution as something which is close to heart. This is due to the good will of the institution and the social intervention through vocational training initiatives.