Indian typewritists struggle as repair costs rise

While most people gave up on typewriters decades ago, they're still very much part of life in some parts of India.

But that may be about to change. Repair costs are rising and typists fear the writing's on the wall.

Sixty-eight-year-old Anil Kumar has been a professional typist for more than 40 years.

For the last 30 of those years his Remington typewriter has been the tool of his trade.

"I'm very attached to it - the money that I have earned," he says.

"From this has helped me get all my children married."

But in an ever-advancing technological world - where computers have put typewriters out of business - Mr Kumar's income has dropped.

Just servicing his machine costs about $5 every 400 pages.

"The manufacturer company Remington has shut down, but my typewriter is working and I will keep using it as there are mechanics to fix it, as long as it keeps working I will use it," he says.

Suresh Kumar began his typing career in 1985 earning $13 a day, now he struggles to make $4 sitting outside the transport office in New Delhi.

"This typewriter, the manufacturing of such typewriters has stopped. We have to buy rebuilt parts which are costly and the repair charges of the mechanics have also increased," Mr Kumar says.

Repairs have also become more expensive - and spare parts almost impossible to find.

"I find it very difficult (to repair typewriters). It takes about two to three days to repair a machine," says typewriter repairman Rajendra Kumar.

"If I don't find a spare part, I have to make it myself from scratch. We have to get a mould made for it and after tempering the part is made. Then the machine is repaired."

Unless there's a global computer crash, Mr Kumar's skills will soon be as obsolete as the tool of his trade.