Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Recipe for 'India I Care' Tabloid...

If we can dream about it , we can make it happen!

This is a digital era. I had just published only the second post in this blog, primarily for people in India (obviously!), and, in hours, a lone written comment came from across 16000 Kms away in the USA!  Statistics of the traffic coming into this blog suggests that people in Russia, USA and Germany have visited this blog too!
 "Great, isn't it?"
" No".

 This blog is supposed to champion the cause of India as 'the place where each one of us lives', and from this definition point of view, this blog has not delivered. People in my local neighborhood do not know about it.

IIC Islands of Excellence - 'Reach Out' man, Mr. Ramaswamy

It is here that my attention went to the just delivered 'Reach Out', a fortnightly 4 pager tabloid which gives me the information and news about the very local happenings. It informs me that one Veena Rajappa, and others from our locality have just succeeded in initiating the action for the revival of a dried up lake. I also recall another group in my neighbourhood had cleaned up their street and had vowed that they will all keep it so.

I had a thought. Could this be an answer for reaching out to the masses for galvanizing them for India I Care cause?

I was excited. I called the editor, Mr. Ramaswamy for an appointment. Look at his humbleness, he came to my home to discuss about the tabloid!

Mr Ramaswamy is a septuagenarian!(He declined for his photo to appear here, and we respect his desire). He had worked for 50 solid years as a journalist, spending many years in Delhi. His desire was not to remain irrelevant post retirement, and hence as he chose Bangalore, and our locality in Bangalore to settle down, he created this tiny little tabloid to induce self esteem among the school children in Rajarajeshwari Nagar. After inspiring nearly 2000 floating children every fortnight for nearly 8 years, he expanded the scope to reach out to every house hold buying some newspaper or the other within RR Nagar. He expected it to become a meeting place for service oriented citizens, and in the past two years he has succeeded in getting quite a few people come together for a common cause.

Financially he is able to breakeven the costs, as profit making is not his focus. But, he says, if youngsters work on such a project, they can make a reasonable profit too! Currently he is having a circulation of about 15000 copies every fort night, and he incurs a rupee a copy as cost.

My dream is, Can we launch hundreds of editions across the country, in every conceivable locality, a tiny fortnightly tab, individually called '------- I Care' ( fill up the gap with the locality name, e.g 'Nanded I Care'. or 'Shillong I Care'). as a subset to 'India I Care'. These tabs will be totally decentralised, managed locally as a small social enterprise. IIC movement will provide consultancy and connectivity.

It looks very inviting project to me, and I would invite the entrepreneurship minded members to write back with critiquing. Is Mr Farooque Ahmed in Nanded listening? LET US TALK.

Dilip Patel

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