19 October 2018, Friday, 2:13
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Children Without Pistols Made of Gold

Iryna Khalip

One family against the background of the world revolution.

Plotnitsky escaped from Luhansk, Mugabe was removed from power, France arrested Suleiman Kerimov, and Natallia from Baranavichy received a salary. And this news is more important to me than African dictators and Russian oligarchs. The settlement sheet includes 123 rubles.

Natallia has four children. All are boys of 12, 10, 8 and 5 years. On the one hand, it is good. It is convenient to wear hand-me-downs. On the other hand, boys play football, ride a bicycle and everyone wear off clothes that it is needed to buy other clothes. However, earlier Natallia thought about it less. And now she's fallen on hard times.

Her husband Mikalai is a builder. He is a handyman. He is really reliable person. In the spring Mikalai had a heart attack. In a month there was the second heart attack. He took a long treatment, uncertain prognosis, rehabilitation and disability group. Doctors wanted to give him the disability group not allowing him to work. But Mikalai insisted on other option, he had to support four children. Now he can work but has a bunch of restrictions, he cannot work hard. And now he works as road sweeper. The salary of a road sweeper in Baranavichy is around 260 rubles. It's great for the family with four children. He refused to work there and got employed as stoker with the salary of 370 rubles. Natallia had to seek a job as well.

And the kind of job was questionable considering the fact of four children. It's not possible to work all day. Children go to school and to a kindergarten, this requires some opportunity to maneuver. Natallia became a cleaner. The other day she got her first salary - the very 123 rubles.

Did anyone force her to become the cleaner? Oh, yes. But let's imagine for a second the personnel officer who saw a mother of four children and a disabled husband. He will make calculations about medical leaves (it happens that even the family with one child can take medical leaves often, and here's the family with four children and the husband with two heart attacks. What if he has the third attack?) or requests to leave a half an hour earlier and so on, and he will surely deliver a refusal. She can always get a job of cleaner, they are always wanted, especially with such a salary.

I wonder about benefits for her family. Yes, she pays only 50% for food in the kindergarten. And there is a discount on textbooks at school. "But children also need exercise books. They cost two rubles. You also bought them, didn't you?"

And I do not remember. It's true. Because it did not cost me a thing. After all, we do not remember the price of cheap things. And this woman has three children studying at school. And if everyone needs three extra exercise books then it is 18 rubles. And it's a huge hole in the budget.

"I do not understand why bureaucrats like telling stories about support rendered to families with many children. - It seems that we are needed just for statistical reports: the birth rate is increasing in Belarus; it means that the country is flourishing. But in reality we are always humiliated. "

And it's a norm. When she wrote a statement for an additional day off provided for mothers with many children under the Labor Code, she was shouted at: "You're not reliable!" And her junior was not allowed to a paid optional course in English. He was said: Vanya, leave the classroom and sit in the corridor until the break. She was not allowed to let her older son to take his younger brother home. She was said that he is still under 16 and it was the cognizable case, and she was not reliable. Well, she is not reliable in all aspects. Like thousands of other mothers with many children, who are reproached by the state until the very pension. However, many of them cannot even count on pension.

They are not interested in the rest of the ruler in the Emirates - the Emirates are in the middle of nowhere. They are not interested in Maybach. They are not interested in the cost of house in Drazdy and prices for air tickets to the Maldives. And residents of Drazdy having vacation in the Emirates and Sochi once in two months and sometimes appearing at work, and dispersing all cars within a kilometer, are not at all interested in how families with many children survive. They will never meet because they live in different universes without any passage, a corridor, or even a cat's door. Or rather it's not even universes. These are receding nebula. They have nothing in common and no chances to meet.

By the way, Natallia asked me to change the name, if I suddenly write about her family. "But what's the point? I could not get it. - Cleaners are not fired!" Natallia answered: "What if they separate me with children?"

That was the evident answer. Children are their the most precious thing. Children without pistols made of gold wearing shoes of each other.

Iryna Khalip, specially for Charter97.org