Voice to voiceless: Bhopal Shoemaker who became writer, printer, and publisher for justice.
Suresh Nandmehar does ancestral work of mending shoes from 7 pm to midnight and he works as a journalist morning, it was necessary for Suresh to become a journalist because the officials in 2002 told to vacate shops in Bhopal city. Even after the request, the higher officials didn't agree with it. It was a hard time to Mr. Suresh Nandmehar, that's when the neighbors started questioning, why isn't the media talking about this incident.
That's the time he realized the importance of social media. He started publishing the magazine called 'Baal ki Khaal'. After years of hard work that included an apprenticeship at various local dailies, the first edition of 'Baal ki Khaal' was published in 2003 and after 8 years and a monthly circulation of ten thousand copies, Suresh decided to convert the newspaper into a monthly magazine. The incident which happened to him was the motivation he wanted to publish stories unheard and the issues the common people are facing and where the media is not covering the news like this. He remembers the day they were evicted, no social media came into help and they protested for 27 days to stop the eviction. During the eviction and protest, he didn't even go to his home and he took an oath to himself that he should do something about this. Even if anyone of the media took this issue seriously they wouldn't become jobless. Or at least the government would have been forced to give the work.
Suresh proudly acknowledges that he still learns journalism every day. Since 2003, he has been constantly learning new things every single day. And his backbone is his family his son and daughter-in-law both help him in proofreading. Because of his constant effort of knowing problems in society people like vegetable sellers, tea shop vendors, all share stories with him. But shoemakers are the most loyal reporters for him they keep him updated throughout the day. The magazine cost is very low priced and gives it for free who can't afford it. Another shoemaker who is reading from 5 years tells that the stories he covers are the ones related to underprivileged. Despite the fact of mending shoes but still running magazine. The people support and like him because of the commitment to raising voice for the underprivileged.
He won the citizen journalism award in 2010 from Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan. It inspired him to work harder and constructive in telling the stories of underprivileged. That's how a shoemaker raised a voice against underprivileged. The power of writing is strong as sword they say and Suresh Nandmehar is one such voice for voiceless.