Ravichandran (56) is known to many in Kotagala as ‘Paper shop Ravi’, a moniker given to him for running a shop selling newspapers, magazines and oddly enough, fruits.
Ravichandran’s newspaper shop is 30 years old. “I started by purchasing newspapers from another person and selling them for a small commission,” he told us. “But now, popular newspaper agents are directly working with me.”
“We survived the COVID-19 pandemic with whatever we had saved,” he said. “Right now, even as we face these current economic issues, we try to separate a little bit of what we earn just in case. That’s how I managed to spend for my daughter’s wedding too!” he added with a laugh.
“Four of five years ago, I had a heart attack. I still take medicines for it. I have to do an operation for it but because we are still not stable financially, it keeps getting postponed. After the economy collapsed, newspaper sales reduced by at least 60 per cent. We are managing our day-to-day life with that remaining sales,” he said.
“Do you think that’s the only cause that has reduced newspaper sales?”
“No, a lot of people have stopped reading newspapers and are getting news from the internet,” he said. “Only a small number of people still read newspapers. You can be aware of what happens in the country with the news you get on your phone. But with the newspapers, you learn the full story. Reading is a must for future generations. But children these days are more into their phones.”
Story by Manojnath Sathasivam