Mohammad Zeeshan is a business development manager in Dubai. Image Credit: Mohammad Zeeshan

Parental negligence and child safety was the core 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 and get answers to issues that concern them and which they think, require instant change.

Some of the significant issues that readers were concerned for in this month’s community reports were uncaring attitude towards dumping garbage, emphasis on constructing more pedestrian bridges, sewage system requires cleaning and acts that pose danger for children.

Readers have found the platform of Community Reports to call upon people to become a responsible citizen towards the community and the environment.

Today, we acknowledge those reporters who shared their experiences and whose messages stood out among the others. The reports that were published in August 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. They insisted that parents should understand the importance of their child’s safety, before they fall into any risk.

First place winner Raunak Kapur said: “I strongly believe community reports are a good platform where we can express our opinion and concern over issues at community and country level.”

Second place winner Mohammad Zeeshan added : “They are helpful in raising problems or dangers that citizens face in the community.”

Third place winner Sumera Malek wrote : “It is great way to communicate a change through such reports because we never know what positive outcome might be reached through our message.”

Murshed commended the messages raised by the reader reporters. He said: “The three reports highlight the importance of constant vigilance and respect for safety. Flout them and there will be heart break.”

 

Winner Profiles:

First place winner

Raunak Kapur

Child leaning out poses serious danger

August 31, 2013

Profile:

A Sharjah-based student, Raunak Kapur, was terrified to see a young girl leaning out of a car’s window, while parents had gone to buy groceries. Through the report, he requested parents to understand the safety of their children, before they put their life at risk. He said: “There are so many times when the authorities cannot cover all the areas of our country. It is then our duty to express our concern through the mass media so that an immediate action is taken.”

 

Second place winner

Mohammad Zeeshan

Parental negligence could be costly

August 4, 2013

Profile:

Mohammad Zeeshan, a Dubai-based reader, was appalled to see a child playing in a balcony, without any adult supervision. He witnessed the child passing through the balcony grill, risking himself to danger. Zeeshan advised parents to realise their duties towards children’s safety. He said: “I hope that parents understand their responsibility and look after their children at home and on roads.”

 

Third place winner

Sumera Malek

Children must not be allowed to play on the road

August 28, 2013

Sumera Malek noticed children playing football on the road, without them being cared or worried for. Malek, who is based in Sharjah, ensured parents to look after their children’s safety as cars pass by on roads at frequent intervals and this could end up risking a child’s life. She said: “Every change requires certain time, and I don’t expect quick improvements. But there is always a hope for such issues being resolved. After all, I have seen many community reports turning into reality.”

 

Writing tips

Begin sentences with subjects and verbs.

Make meaning early, then let weaker elements branch to the right.

Activate your verbs.

Strong verbs create action, save words, and reveal the players.

Get the name of the dog.

Dig for the concrete and specific, details that appeal to the senses.

Let punctuation control pace and space.

Learn the rules, but realize you have more options than you think.

-The writer is a trainee with Gulf News.