Rajeev Jose is the third place winner for his report "Falling plant pots threat to public safety". Image Credit: Devadasan /Gulf News

A focus on developing a caring attitude and respecting residents stood as the central theme of the community reports received last month.

Every month, readers send reports about issues that largely affect their community. These reports, be they positive or negative, give readers a prospect to address their concerns. In this way, Gulf News believes its readers to be heard as they strive to emphasise an immediate change they wish to see in the world.

Some of the significant issues that readers were concerned for in this month’s community reports were donating hair for breast cancer awareness, an emphasis on constructing more pedestrian bridges, animal care, and a need for more garbage bins.

Readers have found Community reports to be the right platform to create awareness and find solutions to social issues that would help bring a positive change within the community.

Today, we acknowledge those citizen reporters who shared their experiences and whose messages stood out among the others. The reports that were 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.

The winning community reporters highlighted key problem areas and looked for solutions. Their reports looked for answers from relevant authorities and urged people to become responsible towards the community and the environment.

First place winner S Menon said: “I feel that community reports are good to reach the people and authorities.”

Second place winner Ashraf Neeliyat said: “The concept of community reporting is very relevant because reporting and correcting of issues is not just the responsibility of media and authorities, but also the citizens. Since we are living in a world where voluntary and individual approach to social responsibility is diminishing, the effort of Gulf News is essential to reach the message across to a larger group.”

Third place winner Rajeev Jose said: “Community reports succeed in informing people about the reality untouched by media.”

Murshed commended the messages raised by the reader reporters. He said: “The three reports carry three strong pictures, highlighting negligence and disregard for fellow residents and the environment. Consideration and respect is the key.”

Winner profiles

First place winner: S Menon
Parking chaos in residential areas
October 8, 2013

Profile:

Sharjah resident, S Menon, expressed his annoyance when he found difficulty exiting his residential area since his car was blocked by other vehicles. Menon, who was devastated at this situation, requested the authorities to make arrangements for a proper parking area for residents of Al Wahda area of Sharjah. He said: “I can understand that this is not an issue that will be tackled overnight and thus, will take time. Earlier, I had read in Gulf News that by mid-next year, all second-hand cars will be moved out of this place and hopefully, by then, there will be ample parking facilities available in the area.”

Second place winner: Ashraf Neeliyat
Trash makes a mess of Abu Dhabi corniche
October 28, 2013

Profile:

Ashraf Neeliyat was appalled to see a landfill at the Mina waterfront in Abu Dhabi corniche. Neeliyat, who is a business planning coordinator in Abu Dhabi, expressed his observation of no serious action being taken to clean the litter, even though other areas of the corniche are regularly cleaned. Through the report, he requested authorities to patrol the area and penalise those who do not abide by the instructions. He said: “Citizens have a major role to play for making the world more sustainable by their responsible acts such as educating the public, reporting gaps and suggesting areas for betterment. In terms of the report, I have noticed improvements at the corniche and hope that the authorities will continue their vigilance for a permanent solution.” 

Third place winner: Rajeev Jose
Falling plant pots threat to public safety
October 20, 2013

Profile:

Rajeev Jose, who is an overseas director from manpower recruitment, managed to capture a shocking sight of a plant pot that fell from the balcony rail of a high-rise building. Through the report, Jose expressed his thoughts about the dangerous aspects of potted plants in the balcony rail of such buildings, and urged authorities to warn residents about this act. He said: “No response or solution has been taken yet on behalf of my report, but I hope to see the result, soon.”

The writer is a trainee with Gulf News