Amar Chitra Katha (ACK), well-known publishers of children’s graphic comics is planning to immortalise sports legends Dhyan Chand and K D Jadhav, too, in its series on India’s “Visionaries”.
The popular publication has sold the maximum numbers on legends like Mother Teresa, Jim Corbett, Salim Ali and JRD Tata, Reena Puri, Editor of the Group, told Business Line here on sidelines of a function where ACK unveiled an illustrated graphic comics on life and times of the late Dr Verghese Kurien, Father of White Revolution, on his 92nd birth anniversary on Tuesday.
ACK, which refrains from publishing comics on living persons, is, however, considering to reassess its policy on whether to publish a book on sports legend Milkha Singh, on which a biopic was recently released with actor-director Farhan Akhtar in the lead role. The book on Dr Kurien, released in English, is being translated into Gujarati, and may be brought out in other languages, too. All comics are published with an initial print order of 30,000, she added.
The event was organised at the Institute of Rural Management-Anand (IRMA), founded by Dr Kurien, in the presence of children of Anandalaya School and two generations IRMA students now occupying various positions.
Vijay Sampath, CEO, ACK Media, informed that the Future Group had taken a controlling stake of 60% in ACK a couple of years ago. The company, which increased price of books by 20-25% over the last five years, would be launching ACK Apps Stores in the next two months on Android, Apple and Windows platforms and make available some free comics on apps. It is also planning setting up lending library for subscribers. The animated ACK products, comprising 26 stories, are available on Cartoon and Sun Networks.
Besides, he said, ACK would launch various characters on YouTube-based channels for children. Out of 500 titles published by ACK in the last five decades, about 350 continue to be in reprint.
Earlier, Nirmala Kurien, daughter of the legend, regaled the audience with an incident. When Dr Kurien asked his grandson about the latter’s ambition in life, the boy surprised his grandfather saying he wanted to be a watchman! A flabbergasted Dr Kurien asked why. “Well, to become a watchman I would not have to study in schools! “In that case,” Dr Kurien told his grandson, “You must become the best Watchman in the world, the way I have become the best Milkman!”
Nirmal said her dad loved to read comics. He used to say he was in the business of developing people, in which milk happened to be only a tool. To begin with, he could manage only 250 litres of milk a day and cast his net far and wide to make India the largest producer in the world and Amul Asia’s biggest milk brand.
She said few people knew that Dr Kurien played badminton, chess, tennis and cricket like a professional but gave up boxing after he broke his nose.
Recalling that Dr Kurien set up IRMA in 1979 when he found IIM-A students reluctant to go to villages, GCMMF Managing Director R S Sodhi said the legend had coined the word “rural management”. He urged ACK to publish the Kurien comics in other Indian languages as well.