The newspaper hawkers in Manipur have started to resume their usual daily newspaper delivery activities following public demand and government’s appeal.
As a result the residents including those in the greater Imphal area are getting the copies of their daily newspapers at their doorsteps again since Wednesday morning.
In the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, Manipur Hawkers Association (MHA) and All Manipur Newspaper Sales and Distributors Association decided to suspend newspaper distribution in the State during the total lockdown citing certain difficulties including ill-treatment to hawkers.
Expressing regret over suspension of work thereby disrupting normal distribution of newspapers to the people, a key functionary of MHA, in a statement, appealed to the hawkers to take self-precautionary measures like social distancing while performing their job.
Urging the newspaper readers to clear the outstanding dues to ensure that the hawkers can continue their job properly, the association also appealed to the law enforcing agencies not to harass the hawkers who are distributing newspapers to the people during the lockdown and curfew.
Even though the hawkers suspended their service, most of the local dailies including those from Imphal area, continues to run their online editions.
However, a local vernacular followed by English daily continues to bring out limited number of copies without fail.
There are not less than 30 popular daily newspapers including 11 in four hill districts besides couple of evening newspapers in the state.
Similarly seven local vernaculars published in two hill districts also continued to bring out their copies without any break despite the imposition of total lockdown and subsequent suspension of hawkers’ normal activities.
Meanwhile, hand sanitizers were distributed to the hawkers through the key functionaries of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union and Editors’ Guild Manipur in Imphal on Wednesday.