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Saturday, June 25, 2011
NEWS MAKERS: This feisty magazine has its niche readership!
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MOHIT M. RAO / tHE hINDU / BANGALORE, June 25, 2011.
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS: Isaac Arul Selva (right), who brings out Slum Jagatthu, discusses an edition with his neighbours. Photo: K. Gopinathan.
Slum Jagatthu is published by slum dwellers
You wouldn't find it on newsstands nor would you find its editorials discussed in the offices, and yet for a more than a decade, a modest monthly has been striving to represent the voice of more than a third of the city's population.Slum Jagatthu (Slum World), a 16-page black-and-white magazine, is the country's only magazine catering to the urban poor.
Started 11 years ago, the Kannada monthly has a readership of 2,000 spread over 11 districts in the State. With the slogan, “For slum dwellers, by slum dwellers,” the magazine covers issues of sex workers, pourakarmikas and slum demolitions, among others. The articles are received and edited by a six-member team in the office of the city-based NGO, Jan Sahayog, in Sampangiramanagar.
“We needed only Rs. 168 as initial funding, that is, the fee to register the magazine,” said Isaac Arul Selva, the founder. He himself is a slum dweller, living with his three children in Lakshman Rau Nagar where he grew up.
Having had education only till Class 4, he did odd-jobs till he landed in Slum Suddi, a paper funded by Jan Sahayog. When that publication closed in 2000, Selva started Slum Jagatthu.
Financial constraints from a limited readership (its cover price of Rs. 5 is out of the reach of most slum dwellers) and lack of advertising restrict the reach of the paper.
LANGUAGE OF MARKETING.....................................................