MY STORY: Why a Journalist Started His Own Printing Press in a Remote Uttarakhand Town

Narayan Dutt Joshi, a 65-year-old resident of Chakrata, struggled to start his own press in his small town and published Saptahik Jaunsar mail, a weekly newspaper based on local issues.

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I travel a lot –  mostly to the mountains where I meet many talented people doing some great work. They are all very dedicated towards their work and it is always inspirational to know more about them.

Narayan Dutt Joshi, a 65-year-old resident of Chakrata in Uttarakhand, is one of them.

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Sharing his story of how he brought his very own press to that tiny town and started publishing Saptahik Jaunsar mail, a weekly newspaper based on local issues, he said:

“I was a journalist in 1976 and was writing for a newspaper. I had to send my reports by post but the postal network was very poor. It would take up to 15 days for the article to be published in the newspaper. One fine day, Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency and the police jailed many journalists. I was one of them. There, I met Nityanand Ji, professor of DBS College, Dehradun. He used to read the newspaper for which I wrote. When I approached him he said that he thought I was a pick pocket. But when he came to know about my story and the place I belonged to, he made me swear that I would start my own newspaper after being released from jail.

I was 24 years old at the time, and starting a newspaper in a remote mountain region seemed like a zealous idea. But there were many hurdles. Half of the population there could not read. I knew that my newspaper would serve no purpose for them and I will hardly fetch any money.

However, I collected all my savings and bought a printing machine. After facing several other problems, I finally started my weekly newspaper. The purpose of my newspaper was to protect the culture of Jaunsar-Babar and to make people aware about current affairs. People were overwhelmed when they saw the first copy of Saptahik Jaunsar mail. That was the happiest moment of my life.

But there are many other newspapers now. Last year, I had to shut down my press due to economic hardships. Currently, I am working with Amar Ujala as a journalist.”

I am proud to have met a person like him.

– Rohit Singh

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Written by: Rohit Singh

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