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Corn from chaff

Marina Bogoslovskaya: The government itself calls citizens to activism

Corn from chaff

In an interview with, a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, deputy chairman of the Public Chamber of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), told why it is necessary to keep a subscription to newspapers in Yakutia, how to deal with teenage cruelty and what measures will help to support non-profit organizations (NGOs).

- Marina Olegovna, what do you think the Public Chamber is for?

- Public Chambers, both regional and all-Russian, is a kind of institution that involves society in the governance of the state. The task of the Public Chamber is to gather information, public opinion and subsequently polish the essential "grain", which in the form of recommendations is transferred to the authorities. Public Chamber was created not to listen to power and then retell to the people what they want from it, but vice versa. It's like a "safety cushion" between society and power. Crowd no one hears. And if there is some body that accumulates expert assessments, conducts public hearings and then issues a summary document, then this is a competent approach to the matter.

Now in our country there has come a very interesting time, when the government itself calls citizens to activism - involvement in all processes that occur in public and political life.

What is this call?

- The question of overflowing activity into the social sphere was raised last year at the forum “The Health of the Nation is the Basis of Russia's Prosperity”, which was also held under the auspices of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. The forum was attended by representatives of public organizations from different regions of Russia. The event was visited by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, who proposed transferring some of the social functions to NPOs, because with the help of independent public organizations the funds reach the goal. Exaggerating somewhat, it turns out that the state has signed for some helplessness in solving problems of the social sphere and calls on entrepreneurs to engage in socially-oriented businesses, which will be funded by the state. Yes, the money has gone. But there is another nuance - officials do not always correctly understand this promise: they hear the word "social", but they miss the word "business."

Here is a woman organized a few years ago a private kindergarten. And it is presented as the flagship of social entrepreneurship. But no one goes into her story about the fact that in the first year they worked on zeros, in the second year they received a subsidy from the Ministry of Entrepreneurship (without it they would not have survived), in the third year they generally went into negative. That is, if there is financing now, then this is good. But where is the business here ?! It turns out, we pull out of the entrepreneurial sphere of literate people and simply involve them in the social sphere. We pay them all. But they will not preserve the conditions, so that people could afford to take their children to private kindergartens and schools! The real help of the state is in providing benefits, free premises or equipment for leasing. Then it will be business.

-How does the state help non-profit organizations? And what initiatives does the Republican Public Chamber put forward on the interaction of the authorities and NGOs?

- Yakutia is one of the first subjects of the Russian Federation, where a department for the support of civic initiatives was established. Now the question of creating a resource center on the basis of one of the republican charitable foundations is being decided. We, as the Public Chamber, who have regular communications with NGOs, try to ensure that more attention is paid not to writing programs and reports on them, but to real work. Environmental organizations, parental committees have acted before ... Now it seems that everything is money-based and there is no intangible enthusiasm in people anymore.

We are going to resume seminars for NGO representatives. Moreover, not only the lecturer, but also the representatives of the leading grant-operators of the country, which for many years no one of our NGOs could get through, we would not get grants there at all. Last year we held the first NGO congress, where they posed the question that only NGO's and nearby NGOs have practical access to grants and subsidies. The Republic of Sakha is large and communications are not yet very well established - in many localities there is simply no Internet. Often people receive information only from print media.

Even if there is the Internet and the press, there are difficulties with the registration of public organizations in remote areas. Because in order to register an organization, you must fly to Yakutsk, which, of course, is expensive. You have to fly several times: to hand over the documents and pay the fee, to pass the examination, which lasts for a month, and not the fact that through 30 days it will be possible to get a certificate: in 80% of cases the documents are returned with a request for revision - and everything starts in a new way. Therefore, many district NGOs work without registration, which does not give them access to grant support for their activities.

We are in favor of creating brigades from the justice department that would travel by uluses, take a reception, advise citizens and take out a ready package of documents for registration. But the justice department is very hard on it. That is, it turns out that the resources allocated by the state to support NGOs are very unevenly distributed. There are a lot of public figures, but one part has access to resources, the other part does not.

- In Yakutia, the problem of increasing the tariffs of the "Post of Russia" is very acute. Can the intervention of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation resolve the situation?

- I think yes. Because the problem concerns not only us, many regions suffer. I'm going to initiate a large round table in the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation on the rates of the "Russian Post". The system of tariffing by zones forced to refuse to subscribe to newspapers for many residents of the uluses: the newspaper in the Arctic region costs more than 100 rubles. It's unbearable!

Let's face it. Of course, the press on paper is gradually becoming a thing of the past. But print media in Yakutia will probably live longer than in other regions of Russia. We can not abandon the institution of subscription. Incidentally, not only newspapers suffered from the tariffs of the Post of Russia, but children's publications in national languages ​​suffered. And we want children to preserve the culture, language. How without it? Moreover, the "Mail of Russia" is ready to meet.

- Why did the Public Chamber of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) pay close attention to children, the moral situation in schools?

- Recently we conducted raids on schools in all eight districts of the city of Yakutsk. The conclusions are not entirely comforting. Infrastructure for children's leisure a little where created: there are no playgrounds, accessible gyms, mugs. All paid, but not all parents can pay. Children remain on the street unattended, because parents either work or do not pay attention to raising a child. We decided to deal with the issue of organizing leisure for children in order to somehow minimize the manifestations of cruelty in the teenage environment.

Everyone is hearing now a story that stirred the whole country: a new girl came to school, studied for a week, beat her. And all the horror is that one girl was beating, and the other ten people were standing and filming a video, which they then put on the net. I visited the girl in the hospital. It is clear that she is very depressed, especially because the video was on the Internet. Her mother refused to participate in the well-known talk show on television. But other people who called themselves relatives of the family went. As a result, in this transfer, the heroes made those boys who shot the video, and the girl who inflicted beatings. That is, the whole story was perverted.

I spoke with the head of the children's department of the medical center, she told me that such statistics of teenage cruelty is not going to, but she is. In the daily mode, they receive four or five children beaten by their peers, who get into neurosurgery with fractures and with terrible hematomas, sometimes in a much worse condition than this girl. It is necessary to dig deeper, and not to deal with a specific one story, although here you also need help.

- The scope of the Public Chamber includes issues of housing and communal services. What have to work here?

We deal with problems of housing and communal services. At one time in the Public Chamber of the Republic free legal consultations were held twice a week for the population on social issues and housing and utilities issues. The national path did not grow, we had records for two months ahead. People were explained situations, advised where to turn, helped to draw up a statement of claim, etc. Moreover, under these of our lawyers, we have created, under an agreement with the Baikal University of Economics and Law, a “legal clinic”. It was a kind of practice for students who saw a living job, which they would have to do after graduation.

- What is the position of the Public Chamber of Yakutia in relation to the TASED “Zarechie”?

- TOSER "Zarechie" has already done "a lot of noise from nothing": the project itself does not exist yet. And people are already worried, although they have no reliable information. Our task is to hold public hearings, attract experts, make some kind of decision in the form of recommendations and already send it to the government.

Perturbation of the population is understandable: people want to live in an environmentally friendly environment. A chemical plant that will produce methane directly on the bank of the river in a densely populated region of the republic scares them. Officials like this project, because the investor will come. I think we should listen to both sides. The authorities that are promoting this project must prove to the population who will have to live near this plant that the implementation of the TACER "Zarechye" project will make their life only better.

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