Meet Odisha’s Newspaper Man Shashanka Dash who’s named in Guinness World Record for his collection of maximum papers
Setting up his own collection of newspapers from various countries and their respective states, Shashanka Sekhar Dash, a journalist by profession with roots from Odisha’s Jajpur district, has earned for himself a mention in the 2022 GWR (Guinness World Records). He now holds the record for “Largest collection of newspapers with different titles”.
Till date, Shashanka has managed to hold around 10,000 newspapers in his collection which includes 4874 different titles in 94 languages from 138 countries.
Speaking with CelebrityClub, Shashanka elaborated on how it has been his passion for a long time. He started collecting newspapers as a hobby 20 years ago, in late 2000s, when he entered into the field of journalism. That was his attempt to highlight the importance of wasted newspapers in people’s lives.
“My hobby soon turned into a passion as I got to know more about other countries and their ways of distributing newspapers,” said a joyous Shashanka.
“Normally people say that a fresh newspaper’s value is lost the next day. But through my process of collecting newspapers I made people realise that every newspaper shares a message which stays for lifetime. Infact, today’s newspaper could be tomorrow’s history. So my motto of collection is to keep our next generation, especially the upcoming journalists, aware about print media which is most of the time, ignored”, he added.
Most of Shashank’s collection has been acquired by friends and family and some come from contacting RNI websites through telephone addresses and few swappings from other newspaper record holders. Apart from newspapers, Shashanka has collections of almost everything that’s related to newspapers. In his collection, he has masks with names of news agencies printed on them. He also has a collection of newspaper bags, newspaper stamps, envelopes, letterhead, wrappers, and news office photos.
To mark his collection fruitful for future generations, Shashanka named his newspaper collection gallery in his father’s name as ‘“Dolagobinda Newspaper Museum and Research Centre”. He built this museum at his village to set history for the upcoming generation.
Shashank also talked about having received consecutive national and international awards for achievements for newspapers. He reportedly featured five times in Limca Book of Records (LBR) in three years, first one in 2013 for “largest single day newspapers collection”, in 2012 for “India newspapers collection”, on 2019 for “largest newspapers collection”, in 2020 for largest foreign newspapers collection, and in same year for “largest foreign language newspapers collection”. He featured in India Book of Records (IBR) in 2013 for “Largest collection of single day dailies” and also featured in Credence Book of World Records in 2020 for “largest memories collection of Atal Bihari Vajpayee through newspapers”.
On work font, during his early stages of journalism, Shashanka worked with top news channels in Odisha like OTV, Prajatantra, ZEE news and Suryaprava including Siddharth Village Gram Vikash, Paryabekhyak, Yugabartta, and Eswar. Presently, he is working with Indian Grameen Services (IGS) at Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board (MPTB) project.
Interview Conducted by: Pratika Priyadarshini