17 decembrie 2012

Social support in romanian urban ghettos

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          It is almost undisputable the fact that the so called urban ghettos amass great number of social supported people, because of poverty and because of other disadvantages that they face with. The type of social support and  the examples that shall follow come to strengthen the previous statement. We must keep in mind that the population benefits from social security in  different forms,  from  housing  with  moderate  rent  and  payment  of utilities to having a daily meal and payment of some allowances.
          Practically speaking, with regards to Arad, an article published in the year  2005  says  that  most  Roma persons  not  only  from  Checheci,  but also  from  the  city  in  general  are socially dependent to an extent of 80 percent: social security, meal at the social canteen, material support, social and legal consultancy etc. This is a sad reality where the “Roma people ... in shacks, wait hungry and dirty the social food, with children that die of fever or flu [and] with un-educated youngsters” (Gheorghe, 2006).
          Also in Transylvania, but more to the north, in Oradea people live as Ovidiu Morcan said (2007) in very difficult conditions,  most of them only from the social security and what they find in the trash dump. The situation seems unchanged also in  Satu  Mare,  where  the  ghetto Ostrovului hosts  most of the social supported people of the city  (PopVladimirescu, 2012).
          Following some edge situations regarding the provision of electricity, the Roma people from the Craica area requested, among others, to continue to be tolerated with regards to the supply on one hand and to continue to receive social support from the Mayor`s Office, on the other hand,  until  an  alternative  is  offered. The  other  ghetto  of  Baia  Mare  – Horea – is, in fact, a space of social housings  where  a  lot  of  very  poor Roma  persons  live.  Except  the  ones  that  work  for  the  local  sanitation company,  most  of  the  people  left live only from social security  and  the children`s allowances (Popescu, 2011). In Miercurea Ciuc, for example, the relationship of the people near the water treatment plant with the Mayor`s Office is strictly pragmatic. The Roma persons work four days a week, for the “City Hall” (as mentioned in an article from  Gândul  in October  2005)  and  in  exchange  the  institution  pays  the  common expenditures (water, electricity and picking up the trash) (Kovacs, 2011), fact that is recognized by the Roma persons.
          On the other hand, at Sibiu social support means daily meals offered to  the  people  from  the  ghetto.  They  eat  at  the  social canteen  from Guşteriţa (an area of the city), or they bring the food home so that the whole family can “enjoy” it. Their social and economical situation is so dramatic, that, stated a woman from Zăvoi „if they would cut us  the canteen, we would simply be left to eat trash” (Mocanu, Orlandea and Carabaşu, 2011). And from Alexandra Ion-Cristea we find out that some of  the  today  “residents”  of  Zăvoi  area  were  evacuated  of  different reasons from the social housings. Among these there are people “who lost  also  their  social  security  because  they  didn`t  want  to  work the hours for community service according to the law” (Ion-Cristea, 2006).
          In the cities of Moldavia things are not different in comparison withwhat was presented so far. In the ghetto from km. 10 in Brăila, an overwhelming number of people live from social security from which they are condemned to survive and pay also the rent, electricity and  get clothes if they afford it (Ivan, 2007). At Botoşani, except the children`s allowances and some products or money obtained from daily work, in the ghetto from the Tineretului Park  the most important source of income for many people  is the social security.  Over 150 families have huge  debts  for  utilities.  The  total  value  of  the  debts  was  in  210, 60 thousand lei according to some (Constantiniu, 2011), 180 thousand lei according to others (Maxim, 2011). The Roma persons from the two blocks often say they are poor people, that they live in social blocks and are supported by the Mayor`s Office (http://stiri.botosani.ro/).
          On the Munţii Tatra Street only a very small number of the inhabitants of the informal dwelling  are  “better  off”,  with  this  we  understand  that  they  have a job or a pension. The rest, most of them live their tormented daily life from incomes  derived from social security,  or  from  selling  old  iron (Dumitrov, 2011). The same situation is met also in Drobeta Tr. Severin where the inhabitants of ghetto L2 live from “wagging, old iron, begging and social security” (Lobda, 2003). Most of them being social supported cannot afford even to pay the utilities bill, and the same thing happens also in the Botoşani ghetto as we have seen previously.
          „The new tenants are awaited with a real luxury in the new house made available from the authorities” or “houses more than luxurious”, this is how Adrian Arnăutu was writing in August 2010 regarding the move  of  the  Roma  people  from  the  Bârlad  ghetto  to  the  new  social houses. The  houses  where  the  Roma  people  from  ghetto G1  were supposed to move looked impeccable and had all necessary utilities (running water, electricity, gas etc.) People had here practically everything they didn`t have there, at G1. Most of the tenants of G1 were moved in the three blocks on Cpt. Grigore Ignat Street and only a small part in the block on Alexandru Vlahuţă Street located nearby. The move from September 2010 took place using all the legal rules and norms for a  civilized  living,  the  action  being  supervised  by  the  authorities. The people that came in the new houses made contracts for utilities: sanitation, gas, water, electricity etc. In total the project of the new social houses from Bârlad cost the local authorities approximately 6 mil. RON (Călin, 2010).
          The report of the previous section shows, also, some of the elements of social support  from  Pata  Rât.  The  authorities  launched  a  project  to build ten modular social houses  on  a  blank  field  near  the  trash  dump that  now  has  the  name  the  New  Pata  Rât.  Some  few  hundred  people benefited from this  social project, without reminding the ones that benefit from social security and live in the three locations near the trash 
dump.

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