Deccan Chronicle in Kochi turns one

S. Sravani has been poor, selling flowers after college to take care of jobless parents. She liked her teachers and aspired to be one, but had no money to join the teacher training course. That’s when she left her home in Andhra Pradesh and reached Kerala. She begged on the streets of Alappuzha to raise money for the TTC.

But soon the Child Welfare Committee took her to its shelter to be packed off home in Anantapur district of AP. Deccan Chronicle helped identify her parents and reported her plight, her unfulfilled dream. Readers and well-wishers sent in their offers to DC.

Sravani is now a TTC student at Sree Vidhya coaching centre at Pamudurhy in Anantpur.

In this, Sravani gave DC the opportunity to be not just a witness to history but also an agent of change.

Change was in the air when we broke ground in Kerala. The LDF was in office and the UDF was upbeat, hoping to return to power, taking comfort in Kerala’s tradition of power alternating between the major rival fronts after every Assembly election. But this time it almost bucked the trend, the UDF gaining the majority by a whisker.

We launched the first edition in Kochi on March 18, 2011, followed by editions in Thiruvananthapuram on August 19 and Kozhikode on November 21.

It was as if we were breaking a pattern. Like Kerala’s bipolar politics, the English press here had also been bipolar despite the high literacy and a large English-educated population.

Two large newspaper houses, based outside the State, had planned an entry into the State’s print media market. We were the first off the block.

Our daily offering of 32 pages, including the trendy Kerala Chronicle, which marks a bold departure from the staid purveying of entertainment news, has been priced Rs2, making it affordable to families that longed to subscribe to an English newspaper that was within their reach.

On this occasion of our anniversary, we salute our esteemed readers, who have helped us carve out a niche for ourselves in a short time.

We promise to undertake a yearlong campaign on issues under the anniversary slogan, Kerala First. Accomplished personalities from different fields have contributed to our campaign, picking up issues of importance to propel the State into a steady growth trajectory and secure the destiny of its people, especially the youth, who hunger for change.

We’ve been able to add value and vibrancy to Kerala’s public discourse. We’d also kept off parochial slogans, refusing to buy into jingoism, for instance, on the Mullaperiyar row.

Now, a year is a short time for a review. Our stories are our trophies. We aspire to be not just a newspaper but an institution. We are opening new pages for more engagement with our readers, who have a point to make or a grouse to redress.

Every Sunday we’ll leave space on a page for People Speak.

Here, we recall fond memories of our senior colleague, K. Venugopal, who left us untimely on December 26 last year.

There is a sense of fulfillment for me and my team, of having strived to make a difference.

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