It has long been established that newspapers don’t spread coronavirus. It has also been quite some time that restrictions on the delivery of this most reliable source of information have been done away with. However, many housing societies continue to stop vendors from home-delivering newspapers.
As society-imposed bans compel several newspaper readers to walk up to their security cabin or the nearest vendor to collect a copy of their favourite newspaper every morning, the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MahaSeWA) has termed such moves “wrong and not legal”.
“Home delivery of newspapers is an essential service that should not face any hindrance. It has come to our notice there are some housing societies and Resident Welfare Associations which are not allowing distribution of newspapers to their residents. This is wrong and is not legal,” according to a statement by MahaSeWA.
Stressing that readers have the right to unadulterated content, a statement by MahaSeWA president Ramesh Prabhu added, “In these times of acute disinformation, hyperbole, rumours and fake news, it is newspapers that bring credibility and uphold the right of information for the people. Free circulation and distribution of newspapers is an inseparable and essential part of dissemination of information and is protected by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India guaranteeing right to free speech.”
The government's 'Unlock' notification of June 6 had also included doorstep delivery of newspapers. MahaSeWA has urged office-bearers of housing societies to let vendors deliver newspapers to the readers’ homes.