Bhopal: Suresh Nandmehar is a cobbler by profession and a journalist by passion. The class 10 dropout from Bhopal is the writer, printer and publisher of the magazine 'Baal Ki Khaall'. The idea came to him in 1999 when he and fellow cobblers were evicted from lane next to Bhopal Municipal Corporation. They all sat on a dharna for 27 days, but nothing happened.
Suresh Nandmehar says, "When no one listened to us I realised our voice and pain had not reached the authorities. I pledged at that time and decided to bring out my own newspaper that could provide voice to voiceless - The dalits."
Bringing out a newspaper was no easy task. After years of hard work that included apprenticeship at various local dailies, the first edition of 'Baal Ki Khaall' 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.
"I realised the impact of the tabloid was not what I wanted. A magazine can be read any time during the month. It has got a shelf life where as a tabloid does not have that shelf life. It costs me more but I wanted an impact," Suresh said.
Suresh has recently bought a computer and is learning typing from his son but he doesn't want to turn his passion into his profession. So while he continues mending shoes, he's happy that his monthy magazine is providing a platform and a voice to the voiceless.