If you find it hard to start your day without the newspaper, it is thanks to the people who work through the night to ensure that you can read it while sipping your morning tea or coffee. An entire supply chain is at work through the night to deliver your daily dose of news at your doorstep. One of the oldest newspaper press in the city is in Girgaum. Established in 1923, it publishes Marathi newspapers, Navakal and Sandhyakal. The press starts operations at 6.30 pm for outstation editions and the work goes on till 10 pm. Printing for the Mumbai edition starts at 11.30 pm and ends by 4 am.
“Our newspaper has to reach different parts of Maharashtra. So, we print the mofussil editions early and the city edition starts later,” explained an employee at the press. The newspapers are then taken from the press to the “newspaper markets” across the city, which are near most major railway stations across the Central, Western and Harbour Line for ease of transportation. “After the newspapers are printed at the press, they are delivered to the distributors, who then sell the papers to different vendors in markets across the city. These vendors distribute the papers to people’s homes,” said a staff member from the circulation department of a leading daily.
The largest “newspaper market” and also one of the oldest in the city is outside Dadar station. Distributors of different newspapers sit on the streets in the bylanes outside Dadar station waiting for vendors to collect the newspapers between 4 am and 8am. “Over 50 newspapers are brought in this market, including regional papers. It is one of the oldest markets and old vendors continue to come here to pick up papers. People come here from Parel, Ghatkopar, Santacruz, Bandra and other places to buy papers,” said the deputy manager at the circulation department of an English daily. According to him, the oldest newspaper markets in the city are at Dadar, Churchgate and CSMT station.
“The Dadar market is one of the oldest and has been around since 1942. I prefer to pick up papers from here as all papers, including regional ones, are available at one place. Also, they bring more quantity here and sit for a longer time. Even if we get late, the papers are still available,” said Prakash Deora, a vendor from Bandra. After collecting the papers from the markets, vendors head to the houses of the customers to deliver those at their doorsteps.
“Through rain or sunshine, we have to keep going. Ours is a job that has to go on, irrespective of the situation. Unlike earlier days when youth would take up newspaper delivery as a side job, today, it is very difficult to find a delivery boy. We have now begun charging people for delivery, as it has become expensive,” says J P Yadav, a vendor from Malad (East).