#DHRecaps | Most impactful Metrolife stories of 2018

#DHRecaps | Most impactful Metrolife stories of 2018

The year 2018 can be summarised as a challenging yet exciting year. From natural disasters and scams of unprecedented magnitude to celebrity weddings and changing trends — a lot kept happening throughout the year. Whatever be the category, Metrolife reporters ensured that the stories were told.

Some stories made such a remarkable impact that the government was forced to sit up and take note.

One such story was how Bengaluru public toilets are used for cooking. A Metrolife reporter visited 10 public toilets across the city and found that most of these toilets were being used as kitchens and makeshift bedrooms. After the story was published, the BBMP swung into action and ensured that the facilities were used only for the purpose intended. After that, the High Court also directed BBMP to look into the issue and the agency itself came up with an inclusive policy for maintaining public toilets. A few weeks later, the reporter went back to check if this was true, and we’re proud to say that the impact was visible.

Though IPL is one of the much-looked forward to events by cricket lovers around the country, the sport is not free from black spots. In the article titled Not aware of black marketing of passes, claims KSCA, the reporter highlighted how complimentary passes of Rs 750, issued by the KSCA, were being sold between Rs 2,000 and Rs 7,000 each. Though the KSCA wrote a strong letter denying knowledge of this activity, extra police personnel were deputed outside the stadium during the IPL matches after the Metrolife report.  

That wasn’t all. Along with unearthing the black marketing of tickets, the Cubbon Park parking scam was exposed. Our reporter found that the entire stretch of King’s Road and roads inside Cubbon Park were being illegally used for parking during IPL matches. As per the Horticulture Department’s rules, the parking fee should be Rs 15 for an hour, but the parking attendant charged upwards of Rs 100. After Metrolife ran the story, parking was taken off King’s Road and more police personnel were deputed during every IPL match to make sure the facility wasn’t misused.

As part of another reality check, we found that there were poor facilities for the physically challenged at major city bus stations like Majestic, Shivajinagar and Shantinagar. The reporter personally visited these places and found broken and dirty toilets and broken wheelchairs. We also found that toilets meant for the physically challenged were kept locked and were instead being used as a storeroom in Shivajinagar while the restroom at Shanti Nagar was a makeshift home. After the Metrolife story was published, BMTC officials cleaned up both the places and ensured ease-of-use for the physically challenged.

Depression was a topic that was widely and openly discussed by Metrolife in 2018. In the story about how Nimhans helps people with depression get employment, the reporter spoke about how people suffering from depression and anxiety have problems finding and retaining their job. During the research of the story, we found that Nimhans has a rehabilitation centre for such people. This article was picked up by the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services Government of Karnataka and shared on their Facebook page. It received a number of compliments and over 350 shares.

Reporting issues that Bengalureans face has also been a focus by the team. When  Jayanagar residents complained that a private swimming pool was kept shut for the last four years, Metrolife swung into action. Though the authorities claimed they were repairing it, the reporter found that there wasn’t any work going on. After the article came out, the work finally started and the MLA and contractor have promised to open the pool for use by the end of March 2019.

Furry friends were not neglected either. With Bengaluru looking for more four-legged blood donors, pet welfare personnel were happy to inform Metrolife that more pet blood donors have signed up after an article on the topic came out.

An article highlighting the outrage against online sale of puppies helped raise the issue of animals being sold online at outrageous amounts. The misuse of breeding facilities was brought to notice and since the article, many e-commerce websites like Quikr and Indiamart removed the section advertising sale of animals.

With an aim to find out the real truth behind reports published by other news portals, Metrolife dug deeper into a story on how the Chikkaballapura district administration barred the entry of solo travellers to Nandi Hills. Metrolife reached out to a senior police officer who said the reports were erroneous. He pointed out that there was no formal ban and it was an unofficial board, barring ‘single persons’, that was responsible for all the confusion. Our story created a huge impact and brought a huge sigh of relief for tourists as well as the biking community.

In a case regarding the feeding of strays, Metrolife ran a story about an old couple who faced MP Kupendra Reddy’s ire for feeding stray dogs. Different reports said that the MP had slapped a case against the old couple. However, when we heard the MP’s side of the story, we found that he had not asked the police to file any case but had only instructed BBMP to tackle the problem of aggressive strays. This story gave clarity on the issue.

When other news agencies reported about attacks on cab passengers, Metrolife focussed on how vulnerable cab drivers are and the difficulties they face when on duty. Many of our readers appreciated the importance of showing both sides of the story and the problem with always portraying cab aggregators and driver as villains.

2018 was also the year of natural disasters. With a story explaining how Flood victims in City Can’t Sleep, the reporter focussed on victims of Kodagu and Kerala floods who were experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. Many psychiatrists and counsellors offered to help these victims for free and also appreciated Metrolife for bringing this issue to the fore.

A story on the government's move to ban 827 websites with pornographic content talked about the fallacies of such an order and what should have been done instead to promote sexual education. The story explained the laws related to the topic and how youngsters can cope with such issues. 

Know about BMTC buses for tech guys? shed light on how BMTC’s dedicated service for these professionals was plagued by loopholes. It gave an insight to IT professionals about the actual situation, many of whom weren’t even aware that such a service existed.

When a new law was passed that Good Samaritans will not be harassed by the police, the reporter explained the legal protection afforded to them and encouraged more people to lend a helping hand. The article was widely appreciated online and through personal messages.

Staying true to Metrolife’s tagline of ‘Bond with Bengaluru’, we also brought back nostalgic memories for many Bengalureans by featuring some of the oldest places in the city.

Bengaluru's first Iyengar bakery is 65 featured the city’s first Iyengar bakery. The article highlighted their special treats and journey through the years.

When food chain Mayura turned 42 this year, the reporter featured its founder Srinivasa Rao, who started the restaurant on his own when he was just 19 years old.

One of our articles that was widely shared on social media was Curtains down on Rex Theatre. The article featured the shutdown of one of the last stand-alone cinemas in the Cantonment area. The reporter spoke to the oldest staff at Rex as they shared their memories spanning over 70 years.