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Beyond words

Beyond words
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P N V Nair When we launched The Hans India two years ago we were asked 'Why another English newspaper?' We simply promised that it would be a...

P N V Nair

When we launched The Hans India two years ago we were asked 'Why another English newspaper?' We simply promised that it would be a newspaper with a difference: one that not only informs, but also cares for the people. This explains why our focus is on integrating news with social responsibility. The subtext is to make social welfare a palpable reality for the vulnerable, weaker and suppressed sections of society. This we do by not only highlighting a problem in all its dimensions, but also exploring and emphasising solutions that are practical and result-oriented. We are just two years old. Interpreted in human terms, we could be considered a baby still, though we are a vibrant and juicy fountain of youth, assimilating and growing spectacularly with each passing day.

We attribute our success to our credo of never compromising on our pre-defined objective of focusing on YOU: the discerning readers in this great city of Hyderabad and elsewhere across Andhra Pradesh. These two years have been a satisfying journey for all of us at The Hans India. There have been no regrets, not even faltering baby steps. On the contrary, we continue to derive strength and motive power from the faith which the people of this beautiful and bountiful state of Andhra Pradesh have reposed in us.

President Pranab Mukherjee pays obeisance to P V Narasimha Rao before delivering PV Narasimha Rao Memorial Lecture in Hyderabad on 31st December 2012.

Institutions are not built overnight; but incrementally, brick by brick. We too follow the dictum: "Slow and steady wins the race." We are fully aware of our limitations. For one thing, we are in the midst of giants, including those who are more than 150 years old. Yet, we have been able to make our arrival felt; if not by numbers as yet, definitely by impact in all spheres where we chose to enter. Our focus has been on local news and issues; we penetrate even remote areas and small towns that leading newspapers find unviable to cover.

With five editions --- Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Tirupati and Warangal, we are delivering Andhra Pradesh in a manner that no paper has ever done so far so much so that one national daily started a district edition in order to stay relevant. As for Hyderabad, no one covers the city as thoroughly and as vividly as we do. The recently-launched 16-page tabloid Hyderabad Hans has fare that is bound to be the talk of the town. It is heartening to note that some old papers have started giving more space for city news only after we launched the tabloid.

The Sunday Hans, with its pronounced local flavor, is probably the best among all Sunday magazines. We recapture the glorious past of Andhra Pradesh and feature the forgotten heroes and legends of Telugu literature, art, music and dance, Sunday after Sunday. Enriched with Bhavana Somayya's Salaam Bollywood, Bejan Daruwalla's Horoscope, Mallika Sarabhai's Relative Clause, M V Kamath's Book Review, apart from a major cover story, the magazine is a veritable treat on Sundays.

Information Technology Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah watches students displaying their robots at the RobogenX -2013 in May. Also seen robotics expert Venkatesham Gupta (next to the Minister).

Young Hans, launched in July 2012, is unique by itself. This is perhaps for the first time in the history of Indian journalism that a newspaper has dared to publish three pages � six days a week, totaling 18 pages of rich reading fare dedicated to youth, school and college students, with education as its prime focus. From Monday through Saturday, Young Hans takes a comprehensive look at all things matter for youth� education, examinations, admissions, notifications, topper interviews, interview tips, education policies, job notifications, vocabulary building, knowledge nuggets, model question papers, columns by experts, daily quiz, campus happenings, informative and fun columns, personality development articles etc that help the young. The supplement has weekly columns, ranging from course counselling to self-help, education abroad to science fiction. Campus correspondents provide regular updates about the happenings in their institutions, thus giving user-generated content a wide platform for exchange of ideas.

Young Hans brought out a comprehensive 'Handbook for Engineering Admissions' in 2012 and its roaring success has prompted us to come out with even more valuable compass in 2013. The book is what every student who aspires to be an engineer should read, considering it has everything from courses, colleges, admission criteria, engineering placement trend, study loans etc. in one place. Among other things, Young Hans also conducted the super successful robotics event ROBOGENX- 2013 where over 50,000 students from across the State went through three levels of screening to come to the Grand Finale which saw students making their own robots.

As part of our social commitment, we have been championing the cause of high fluoride content in drinking water across Nalgonda. The way we highlighted the issue made the administration sit up and take notice of what has not been done by successive governments over several decades and how seemingly intractable problems can be imaginatively solved. The Speaker of the State Assembly, N Manohar, led a team of MLAs to study the gravity of the problem there. Several legislators went there more than once. The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha by Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj. At Hans, we are determined not to rest until the government comes up with a permanent solution to the problem. The problem, we know, is not simple because something as elemental as drinking water is so contaminated that generations of people in the area have been victims of disfiguring and crippling diseases.

Legendary singer SP Balasubrahmanyam was felicitated by HMTV and The Hans India at a glittering function at RTC Kalabhavan, in Hyderabad, as part of the Jai Telugu, Jai Jai Telugu Programme on April 27. Veteran film director Dasari Narayana Rao presided over the function and Mandali Budha Prasad, Chairman, Official Language Commission (second from right) was the chief guest. Cine writer Paruchuri Gopalakrishna (left), Kapil Group Chairman K Vamana Rao (second from left), HMTV and The Hans India Chief Editor K Ramachandra Murthy (right) were among those who felicitated SP.

The Rs 13,000-crore Rajiv Rahadhari road scam was another expose by The Hans India that shook the State. Besides causing huge loss to the exchequer, it was a shoddy job, executed in violation of all established norms. We have already warned the authorities, quoting engineers and other experts, that it would prove to be a highway to death. Following the expose, the Chairman of the State Legislative Council, A Chakrapani, had constituted a committee to probe the scandal.

The committee recently submitted its report, confirming large scale irregularities in the construction of the highway. We have also conducted a campaign, "Toilets Please", highlighting the plight of girl students who had to abandon their studies due to lack of toilets at the schools and colleges. We involved the students, teachers and parents in this awareness programme and succeeded to a large extent in focusing on a very sensitive and critical issue.

We have been highlighting the plight of farmers in the State due to drought and floods in the last two years. Whether it was the crop holiday in the East and West Godavari districts last year or the damage caused to standing crops by cyclone Nilam, we have been focusing on the need to compensate farmers who become victims of natural calamities.

The Rythu Rakshana Vedika (RRV), a forum formed and powered by The Hans India and HMTV, recently took up the issue of farmer suicides and successfully organised 'Vyavasaayam � Dasha Disha' programme at Nirmal in Adilabad district on June 23 and at Anantapur on July 7. Agriculture, engaging 70 per cent of the population, directly or indirectly, is the backbone of our economy. Neglect of the farm sector will have far-reaching consequences. We are going to Amalapuram on July 21 to organise a debate on the issue of crop holiday. The air is to prevent suicides by farmers and encourage political parties to give more space for farmers in their election manifestoes. Making agriculture not only viable but also profitable is the ultimate goal of the The Hans India, HMTV & Vedika.

Members of Rythu Rakshana Vedika an initiative of the HMTV and The Hans India consoling Elasaram Chandrakala wife of Elasaram Bhumanna, a farmer who committed suicide at Beeravelly village in Adilabad district on 23rd June

Besides, we are conducting workshops, debates, public meetings etc. on issues concerning the city. Recently, we held Aksharanjali � felicitation of legendary singer S P Balasubramaniam. The city's who's who in music, art and culture participated in the memorable event. Soon we will be running a series on eminent Telugus across the globe. On December 31 last, it was indeed a moment of glory, both for us and a great son of the soil, when President Pranab Mukherjee delivered the first P V Narasimha Rao Memorial Lecture sponsored by The Hans India and HMTV. We are proud particularly because until then no one ever thought of commemorating the Telugu bidda who, as Prime Minister, took the country to great heights by initiating economic reforms.

In his address, the President said, "PV Narasimha Rao was not only a multi-faceted personality, but also a great leader, a great Prime Minister. History will remember him for giving leadership to this country of over one billion people at a critical juncture� It is not possible for an ordinary political leader to take a bold decision like this (liberalisation of economy). He did it and the country is getting the benefits today." It was not a coincidence that, following the lead given by The Hans India, the Congress party, for the first time, officially paid tributes to PV on his birth anniversary recently.

On the occasion of our second anniversary, Hyderabad Media House Limited, the promoters of The Hans India and HMTV, is organising the first ever 'SME Excellence Awards on Sunday, July 15. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) contribute greatly to Indian economy, generating millions of jobs. But sadly the entrepreneurial spirit that drives the SME sector invariably goes unnoticed. We intend to change this and inject a sense of pride among SMEs in Andhra Pradesh. As the first step, we would be honouring the best among them by presenting the SME Excellence Awards in 10 categories.

Should we say more? The coming days are crucial for Andhra Pradesh as the Telangana issue has reached a decisive stage. Whatever be the decision, it would impact the lives of the people across Andhra Pradesh in many ways.

Our endeavour would be to continue with our proven commitment to serve the people as part of our social responsibility. Gandhiji had an unfulfilled dream of "wiping the tear from every eye". We would be happy if we could help wipe out the tears of those who look to us for something more than mere words.

Family members of the farmers who committed suicide narrating their woos at "Dasha Disha" programme on agriculture organised by the HMTV and The Hans India at Anantapur on 7th july.
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