|Not a single newspaper reported about us, then I realised that I have to start the revolution myself and that is why I took out this paper.|
Bhopal: What happens when you want someone to tell your story but no one is listening? You start your own mouthpiece! That's what a Dalit man, Suresh Nanmehar, was forced to do. He is a cobbler and also brings out a newspaper that addresses Dalit issues.
In 2003 cobblers, most of who are Dalits protested for almost a month demanding better facilities. It was an event ignored by the local media, something this man vowed would not happen again.
''Not a single newspaper reported about us, then I realised that I have to start the revolution myself and that is why I took out this paper,'' said Suresh Nanmehar, Edior, Baal Ki Khaal.
In the past six years, the circulation of the paper has gone to eight thousand. The two-rupee paper has no space for rapes and murders but focusses largely on Dalit issues and problems of the economically backward. Most writers are Dalits who do this for free.
''It has so many topics that you do not find in other papers,'' said Mukesh Dangi, reader.
The paper costs nearly Rs 6000, most of which comes from the Dalit community and now the State Government has also started advertising in it.
Suresh Nanmehar pleads with his community, urges them and sometimes threatens them to stand up. He asks them to get educated to fight for their right, with his newspaper of course, fighting a battle for equality with words.
(Source: NDTV dated 17 June 2008)