Premi Mathew Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

Every day, our readers have the chance to be reporters and tell us what is happening in their community.

Our community reporters eagerly take on their role as they investigate important issues surrounding them each day. Students organising charity events and clean-up drives, readers urging environmental awareness, and drivers reminding others to follow road safety precautions are only a few of the subjects highlighted by community reporters. Gulf News rewards these citizens who took the initiative to point out significant events concerning their community that may have gone unnoticed by most people. The community reports published in November were judged by Senior Hub Editor Meher Murshed. The criteria for selection included content, issue, impact on community, responsibility and the quality of contribution.

Winner: Growing hair for charity to help cancer patients

Profile: Premi Mathew is the founder of the Protect Your Mom campaign.

Inspired by six-year-old Dylan's enthusiasm in helping cancer patients, Mathew decided to launch the Hair for Hope initiative in Dubai.

The group helps volunteers to donate their hair to cancer patients suffering from hair loss.

She said: "Community reports encourage people to do their bit for the community. These articles also help create awareness about different causes. I feel if we motivate people, they will be happy to do a lot for their community."

Reason for selection:

This community report helped raise awareness about a very serious issue, which affects many women around the world and offered people in the community a way to help.

Senior Hub Editor Meher Murshed said: "A true community report about what society can do to help others. An inspiring initiative can help improve the lives of many."

Winner: Students seek help for clean-up drive

Profile: Adam Lissy Benjamin is a business student in Mahatma Gandhi University.

Benjamin and his classmates were at the Ras Al Khaimah beach when they noticed trash everywhere. The sight that struck them the most was that of a dead turtle on the shore. Benjamin and his classmates started an environmental group in their university and organised a beach clean-up for Ras Al Khaimah beach to restore its natural beauty.

He said: "I think community reports are a good platform to get your message across to other people. I have received a large response from my friends and family from all around Dubai. I got in touch with an environmental activist from Argentina who said she read my article and was moved by my initiative and wanted to start a clean-up drive with my college."

Reason for selection:

Picking up after yourself; what should be a simple task can have deadly consequences when not done.

This community report showed readers the worst effects of leaving their garbage where animals and mammals can reach it.

Senior Hub Editor Meher Murshed said: "The shocking picture of a dead turtle tells the story of man's negligence — more awareness must be raised to protect the environment."

Winner: Patience is a virtue needed on Sharjah roads
 

Profile: Manoj Panicker is a reader based in Sharjah.

Panicker witnessed a driver reverse his car and drive over the divider in the road to avoid waiting in traffic, an action that other drivers also imitated. In his community report, he stressed that dangerous and "irresponsible behaviour risks so many lives".

He said: "Community reports are surely playing a major role as an eye-opener and a platform for highlighting various issues. Whenever we see these reports from other community reporters, we can always learn from it."

Reason for selection:

We all know how precious time is, but risking lives in order to save a few minutes is unacceptable. This community report helped bring this very serious issue to the attention of the authorities, and people were cautioned about the possible consequences of their actions.

Senior Hub Editor Meher Murshed said: "The picture tells the story. Gulf News has launched the Make it Safe campaign to promote safety on the roads. Motorists must realise impatience can take lives."