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Mohd. Furquan Ali: A social worker & a passionate screen printing coach

02 February 2021: Usually, we come across people getting involved in full-time or part time social work after retirement or getting involved in noble works while working or doing business. Mohd. Furquan Ali, owner of Essen Studio & Prints, Bhadrak, Odissa, is originally a social worker and then he ventured into his printing business. He started his career as a social worker in Mumbai Metropolitan region (at Dombivli in Thane dist). He continued his social work for over 20 years before starting his screen printing business at Bhadrak.

Recalling his early days, Furquan Ali says “In the 1970s I did my correspondence course from Delhi University after completing junior college in Orissa. I came to Bombay (now Mumbai) and joined an NGO in Dombivli in Thane dist in the 1980s. At that time the NGO had the requirement of screen printing. So, I learnt screen printing at a screen printing material shop called Omkar Screen Printing shop in Dombivli. Later, I also got training in the round (bottle) screen printing in Bengaluru for printing bottles for Coca Cola for one week. At that time there were no screen printing machines and I had to learn and do by manual printing and exposing was done under the sun.”

He returned to Bhadrak in Odissa, to work for Fellowship Society, an NGO in his native town. He worked with them for 14 years as a volunteer. The NGO used to conduct screen printing training under their Vocational Training project. “During the classes, we used to produce paper bag and many other products which were displayed at Delhi Hut show in Pragati Maidan. I used to train poor people in screen printing so that they could make a living. Now, I am the Treasurer of the Fellowship Society,” says Ali.

He continues “I am glad to share that my students who learnt from me, today have started their own screen printing business after working a few years in my printing units. I am also a trainer and advisor to Fellowship NGO.”

However, he says that at this moment full time social work is not possible since he has to sustain his family. “I undertake screen printing commercial jobs, sublimation printing, t-shirt printing, cup and gift items, heat transfer printing, wedding cards, posters, round printing, stickers,” he concludes.

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