New Delhi : Instead of feeling bad about their region being ignored by mainstream media, a bunch of youngsters from the northeast in Delhi have gone ahead and filled the news gap – with a paper of their own! And it’s growing in circulation too.
The Naga Times, as the newspaper is called, is just five months old and already sells over 5,000 copies.
Besides Delhi, it is also distributed in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai where a lot of northeastern youths go for either work or studies as well as in places in the northeast itself like Shillong, Imphal, Kohima and Dimapur.
“The paper started in November 2009 with the aim of disseminating and streamlining the ideas and thoughts which focus on the Naga community and others from the northeastern region of the country,” said Yireikan Khapudang, member secretary of the paper.
“Our focus is on events around the country that have a northeast angle to it. For instance, we have written extensively on the Naga peace talks with the centre and the rising number of crimes against northeastern girls in Delhi,” Khapudang told IANS.
“We also write on culture, politics, environment and entertainment,” he added.
The paper, which comes out once a month, has a young team – most working elsewhere or studying and writing for the paper on a part-time basis. Khapudang said there is no other newspaper or magazine of its kind that caters to the northeastern community in the capital.
“We are a team of eight people from different backgrounds like environmental science, legal, social science, engineering, economics and the like. Some of us are either working elsewhere full time or pursuing PhDs in Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University,” Khapudang said.
The Naga Times is promoted by the Delhi-based Mejialung Media Network. It started on a no-profit basis, but is now looking at commercial viability so it can expand further.
“Initially, we started on a no-profit mode, but since we are incurring operational and distribution costs with a rise in volumes, our team is looking into the commercial viability for the newsprint. Hopefully, we can expand our operations as per the market demand,” he said.
So now Delhi’s northeastern community, which otherwise gets to read very little about the region, knows just the way to be up-to-date on news from back home.
According to Khapudang, the northeastern community in Delhi and neighbouring areas is an estimated 100,000, of which 15,000 are from Nagaland.