Tamil Nadu

Stoically delivering news to your doorstep

Some residents are refusing to receive newspapers for fear of contracting the virus. M. Karunakaran

Some residents are refusing to receive newspapers for fear of contracting the virus. M. Karunakaran   | Photo Credit: M_Karunakaran

Newspaper delivery boys are facing several hurdles in the wake of COVID-19

It is close to half-past-six in the morning, and most doors are shut, with residents still curled up in their beds.

Armed with a mask and a hand sanitiser, 31-year-old M. Marimuthu stacks up newspapers and zips past every street of Arumbakkam, distributing newspapers in a jiffy.

“This has been my routine since I was 16. I don’t remember taking more than a few days’ leave in the last 15 years. I don’t view it as just a mundane profession but as a humble service that keeps residents informed of what is happening around them in the world. This is why I continue to work even now, during such a crisis,” he says.

At a time when people are reluctant to venture out of their homes, newspaper delivery boys quietly go about their routine, day after day, despite the lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.

N. Karunanidhi, 52, a newspaper agent, says he ensures that his staff wear masks and travel with hand sanitisers.

Sixty-eight-year-old P. Chakaravarthy recollects that the only time he did not deliver the paper was when a flood hit the city in 2015. “My staff and I deliver newspapers in Anna Nagar. We are nervous. But we will continue to do our job. It is a small contribution to society in such difficult times,” he says.

But there are some residents who have been refusing to receive newspapers for fear of contracting the virus. R. Balaji, a newspaper vendor in T. Nagar, says at many apartment complexes, the owners are not permitting newspaper boys to enter the premises. “We are being told to leave the newspapers with the security at the gate. Those in individual houses are requesting us to wash our hands and legs, apply sanitisers and then enter. There were instances where people did not even want to touch the newspaper,” he says.

But for those who want it, these men say they will dutifully get on with their job.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 8:28:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/stoically-delivering-news-to-your-doorstep/article31167777.ece

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