Raghavendra Sanga, with his Gulf News certificate of appreciation in the Gulf News office in Dubai. Image Credit: Photo by Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News

Throughout the month of October our community reporters raised a multitude of issues and strove to pass on a message to their fellow residents. Through their reports they showed them that everyone needs to stand up and speak out about the issues facing their community, that to stand back and do nothing is wrong, and that one person can make a difference if they commit themselves to a cause.

They encouraged others to be more aware, to open their eyes and get involved. Not just to speak out about problems, but to truly look at those around them and help where they can, whether through donations, volunteering or starting a new initiative. Today we acknowledge and award the community reporters whose message stood out among the others. The community reports published in October were judged by Senior Hub Editor Meher Murshed. The criteria for selection included content, issue, impact on community, responsibility and the quality of contribution.

Reason for selection:

According to our readers there is nothing more precious than a child’s life and this month our community reporter competition winners dedicated their time to highlighting a serious lack of child safety in their communities.

After watching children roam free in shopping centers, dangled over window ledges and standing in grocery carts, they felt it their duty to speak up about the danger parents place their children in due to their irresponsible behaviour and lack of responsibility.

Senior Hub Editor Meher Murshed commended the messages raised by these readers. He said: “The three reports highlight that safety has been compromised and no one can safeguard children but their parents.”

First place winner: Raghavendra Sanga

Infant carelessly held on fourth-floor window

October 9, 2012

Profile: After seeing a slew of articles about children who had died after falling out of windows, Dubai-based Raghavendra Sanga was shocked to see that some parwents continue with such a careless attitude.

Feeling it his duty as a responsible individual, he took a photo of a father sitting his child on a window ledge to help bring attention to the lack of child safety in the UAE.

As a parent himself, Sanga hoped that his appeal, asking others to avoid taking such risks with their children, would bring about a change in the way people view child safety.

He said: “After the publication of my community report, I have not seen anyone doing the same in our locality, so it might have indeed changed some people.”

Second place winner: Manoj Kumar Aswani

Parents need to pay attention to children

October 14, 2012

Profile: While visiting his local hypermarket, Manoj Kumar Aswani came across a child all alone, playing on an escalator. After rescuing the child from harm, the Dubai-based resident felt it his duty to speak out against people who leave their children without proper supervision while they shop. He was also appalled at the lack of security personnel in the store and called for people to start taking child safety seriously.

He hoped that through his report people would recognise the danger they place their charges in when they fail to watch them, as it only takes a moment for something to happen.

Third place winner: Renu Kala

Parents need to show more responsibility

October 23, 2012

Profile: Surprised by the number of children left to their own devices in shopping centres, Dubai-based Renu Kala felt the need to inform parents. She cautioned that there is great potential for harm in allowing children to stand in carts or run up and down the aisles, as they could crash into other shoppers, fall out of the cart or even have something fall on them. Through her report she called on parents to act responsibly and advised them to ensure their children were supervised at all times in order to keep them safe.