“This is my last year as a newspaperman”
Deva who is now in his 60s has been a newspaperman for more than 20 years since he lost his job at the Fitzpatrick’s Supermarket, then one of the most popular supermarkets in the city.
A longtime resident of Brickfields where most of the newspapermen live, his day starts at 3:00am when he gathers with the others at HSBC Building in Medan Pasar. Sorting of newspapers is done there before they go out on their rounds.
From a high of more than 1,000 customers, Deva now only has less than 400 customers. He says that he is in a dying business and feels that he will be out of business next year. He said it was common to see people walk to work every day with a newspaper in hand but that’s hardly the case these days.
The sacrifice required to be a newspaperman is tough. He says that even when he was sick or involved in an accident, he still had to find a way to deliver. He spoke of how when his mother died, he had to deliver the papers before he could attend to her funeral.
In spite of everything, it is obvious he is still proud of his profession. He spoke of how his customers do not start the day till they hear the familiar thump of the newspaper hitting the floor on the front porch.