I am sure that there are many more. But,I am aware of two newspapers who are struggling to survive. One is the 'Overseas Chinese Commerce of India',a Chinese newspaper. C.J.Chen is the Editor of India's only Chinese newspaper. Located at Chinatown in Tangra in Kolkata, which had a 40,000 strong Chinese population,today the newspaper has a circulation of only 300.With 12 people on the payroll and a coverprice of Rs 2.50, the OCCI is a four page daily covering mainly international news. This is Chen's 56th year in Kolkata. At 82,he remains very active. He wants the bonds of friendship between India and China to strengthen.Will his newspaper survive or not? "It is extremely difficult to run the newspaper", says Chen. That is a million dollar question. Or now it is a question of the 'yuan'. He thinks that after he is gone,someone will take control and run the newspaper.That is called optimism.Never say die.
The other newspaper which is sailing on a similar boat is a Sanskrit two-page daily published from Mysore. Sri K.N.Sampatkumar is the Editor of 'Sudharma'.It is 36 years old and was started by the current editor's father Sri K.N.Varadaraja Iyengar. I have been reading this newspaper for the last one year.For an annual subscription of Rs 500,I get all the issues by post.I enjoy reading 'Sudharma' as it helps me to improve my vocabulary and proficiency in Sanskrit.Besides current domestic and international news,there are very interesting anecdotes and short stories,poems,extracts from our Ramayana and Mahabharata,and 'subhashitam' (aphorisms in the form of poetic couplets) which makes reading a pleasureable experience.
But then the irony is that the giver of pleasure suffers from pain and agony.His paper has a minimal circulation and he is struggling to keep it afloat. When I read his editorial on the birth anniversary of 'sudharma',my eyes turned moist. I love Sanskrit. I like to read it and chant shlokas.I am trying to speak it.What can I do to help the Editor and Publisher to keep this only devabhasha newspaper in the world alive.I would be happy to receive suggestions from my readers.