At the time when most of the newspaper managements are indulged in showing the inflated circulation of their publications to claim the media leadership and also to earn more revenue by way of demanding higher rates for advertisement, there are still few publications which have very high genuine circulation and at the same time they never boasted for it.
Way back in 1985, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Rajasthan started a small fortnightly publication, Pathey Kan, for the benefit of the swayamsevaks and also to spread the ethos of Hinduism in right perspective. A devoted team of Pracharaks and swayamsevaks worked day and night to make it a readable one. They worked under the guidelines of Dada Bhai, the seniormost and highly respected functionary of the Sangh. Though initially it was a loss-making proposition, with the time it became self-reliant. This was around 1992, when its management decided to convert it into a weekly publication. ?Since not much finances were available then, some expressed doubt about sustaining the weekly publication of the magazine, ? says Shri Manakji, managing editor, who is associated with it since its inception. Though now it has got number of people working in it, even today, Shri Manakji, in a small Bharati Bhawan, where its office is located, could be seen writing addresses on the magazine'slatest issue, before being dispatched to the subscribers. It is amazing that this publication has a circulation of 1.41 lakh and it reaches in 20,000 villages of Rajasthan. If you are a marketing or advertisement personnel in a well-established publication, you would not believe that this kind of a journal has got such a wide reach, which they could not even think of it despite huge resources at their disposal.
Though most of its issues contain enough stuff for the readers, two of its recent special issues, attracted a number of new readers, who doesn'tnecessarily subscribe to the view of the RSS. Its contents were quoted by the leading newspapers. The special issue on 1857 War of Independence had a lot of new material on the freedom struggle. Two of its articles on Tatya Tope, contained such a material, which was never brought out earlier. ?It took more than three months to get the material,? says Shri Kanhaiyalal Chaturvedi, editor and a former senior official of Reserve Bank of India. Another issue on astrology, which was published in January, got acclaimed from many well-established astrologers. The office of the publication still receives the calls from those who had missed the issue and demand a copy of it.
Since its weekly publication has entered in its 25th year, its management has decided to celebrate its silver jubilee, preparation for which has already started. A committee has been formed, which would prepare a year-long programme before the final golden jubilee ceremony. According to Shri Chaturvedi, apart from having regular functions, it has been decided to make all-out efforts to achieve the target to make the magazine available in all the 37,000 villages of the state by 2010.
Since it is not profit-making venture, one remarkable thing of the magazine is that price of its one issue was just Rs 3, till some time back. Now owing to increase in prices of the newsprint and other things, the management has increased its price to Rs 4. Its yearly subscription is still Rs 60, which is the lowest for a similar kind of publication.