With each community report, Gulf News readers act as the eyes and ears for their neighbourhood, reporting on the issues important to them. Be it a dangerous roadway or beneficial charity project, our readers never fail to send their community reports to raise awareness with their fellow residents or attract the attention of authorities. The positive response to community reports is reflected by the participation of our usual community reporters as well as the newcomers each month.
Today we acknowledge and award the community reporters of July whose message stood out among the others. The community reports were judged by Senior Hub Editor Meher Murshed. The criteria for selection included content, issue, impact on community, responsibility and the quality of contribution.
The three winners in July focused on important traffic issues that are regularly being addressed by the authorities; yet people continue to disregard the rules. Drivers need to maintain 100 per cent focus on the road in case of any sudden traffic changes as illustrated in the community report about the car that collided with a camel. Being distracted by cellphones or tossing cigarette butts on the road are both traffic offences that people constantly ignore. For these reasons, Senior Hub Editor Meher Murshed selected these reports as the winners. He said: “The three reports highlight the need for motorists to show more caution. The authorities are constantly raising awareness on safety, but many motorists are not paying heed. Disregard for safety can lead to a loss of lives.”
Camel killed in collision with vehicle
Leena Hussain is a journalism and screen production student at Murdoch University in Dubai. She was driving on Al Ghurair University Road when she noticed a camel lying on the road after being struck by a vehicle. Although the driver was uninjured, Hussain realised the risk of similar accidents happening in the future if drivers were not cautious of camel crossings in the area. She also highlighted the need for camels to be properly looked after.
The Abu Dhabi-based resident said that her community report was well received by her peers as she highlighted a dangerous road accident.
Hussain said: “I think community reports are a great platform for people to communicate because it allows others to read, take part and contribute their own stories. It’s a section written for the readers, by the readers.”
Smoking in the car should be stopped
Unmesh Datta is a high school student based in Sharjah. His community report focused on a bad habit that many drivers can’t seem to shake. Smoking in the car and tossing the cigarette butt out of the window among moving traffic includes risks that Datta highlighted in his community report. He pointed out the dangers to the car, the driver, as well as other drivers on the road if the incorrectly disposed of cigarette lands in the wrong place.
He said: “I always believe that good residents are those who take care of their surroundings and continuously try to enhance conditions of our society. Community reports provide people the chance to share their concern with others.”
Don’t use the phone while driving
Ajeet Kumar Pillai is a reader based in Sharjah. Talking on the phone or texting while driving is a serious offence on the road that can result with major injuries, but drivers continue to break this rule. Even with numerous road safety campaigns and enforcement from the authorities, people fail to adhere to the laws, putting them and other drivers in danger. With his community report Pillai brought more attention to this issue in hopes of seeing a change. He encouraged authorities to enforce tougher punishments to drivers who break these rules because people don’t follow the law.
Use them to change the meaning of the verb
2. Fear not the long sentence.
Take the reader on a journey of language and meaning.
3. Let punctuation control pace and space.
Learn the rules, but realise you have more options than you think.