No one had ever thought that the entire world would come to a grinding halt, because of a virus. The daily activities would be affected, going out would lead to a chain reaction for the virus, the ‘bless you’ after a sneeze or cough will be replaced by a scary stare and use of sanitizers.
The day lockdown was imposed in India all the activities came to halt. The supply of newspapers was stopped for some time citing the potential threat of spreading the virus. Even though technology took over our lives, many still miss the hard copy of morning newspaper along with a hot cup of tea.
During lockdown, everyone was confined to news on mobile and TV, mainly for getting all major updates of the COVID-19 situation in the world and strategies of governments to tackle the pandemic.
Now it has been a year since the distribution of newspapers began, but it has still not reached its full potential. Many hawkers stated that the distribution came down and our earning has affected upto almost 50%.
Mangesh Shambharkar, a hawker informed The Live Nagpur “Post-lockdown the distribution and sale of the newspaper has drastically come down. This had a huge impact on our earning. There were days when we use to sell 300 copies of various publications. However, now we barely achieve a figure of 100. This has affected us severely we have to depend on other jobs as well”.
The affluent class does not need newspapers to for daily updates. They use their mobile phones. There are many who had resumed the newspaper service but after a month withdrew subscriptions, Shambharkar said. The long trend of reading had copy of newspaper is going down with every passing day.
Prasad Dande another vendor said, “We have seen a drastic fall in the sale of newspaper copies. Every vendor in Nagpur has to bear the losses. Even after a long gap people are skeptical on resuming the services. During lockdown, the online platforms got a major boost”.
Pramod Salunke another vendor said, “We are still trying to recover from the lockdown period with sales going down. When government allowed supply of newspapers we breathed a sigh of relief, but little did we know that the effect would last so long that we would see a heavy fall in out commission”. Besides fall in circulation of newspapers, newspapers also lost credibility and interest, as there was no ‘NEWS’ in its true sense. Only figures of Corona affected, deaths, imposing lockdowns, levying fines filled the pages