Shashanka Sekhar Dash, known as the Paperboy of Odisha, till date, has collected 4,012 newspapers so far in 78 languages and they are from 87 countries.
Shashanka, who is from a village called Arangabad in the Jajpur district of Odisha, used to work with a newspaper in 2001. Out of curiosity, he learnt about the printing, publishing and the distribution of newspapers and started collecting Odia newspapers.
Everyone asked, why not other language newspapers? So he started collecting other language newspapers — English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu and more. “I thought it would be a great idea to collect and preserve these papers for research,” says the former journalist.
But his random collection got a clear direction when he contacted Limca Book of Records. He received the clarity that collecting newspapers in itself can’t be a record, but collecting newspapers of a particular date could be.
So the date was set – January 26, 2012 and he had 12 days. He emailed several national and international newspapers, got in touch with everyone from his network and managed to collect 392 newspapers from 47 cities, 20 states and three union territories in India, and one from Israel (Jerusalem Post). Needless to say, he set the record and now exhibits the newspapers at various places.