Letter four. From the series "Letters which are unlikely to be read but need to be written"
What generation is being raised in the epoch of power and happiness? What problems are the authorities creating for children and what problems can children cause for the country? One can ask a dozen of questions and try to answer all of them. Yet, it is not possible to cover everything in one letter.
A significant percentage of today's kids and teenagers are children of drug addicts. Many of them are physically or mentally disabled. The other, more numerous and less problematic group, represents those children who have been living with their grandparents or family members for years as their parents left abroad to earn a living. They are virtually left to their own devices and are quasi-homeless.
Probably you have more or less precise statistics. Now you can see that for the past couple of decades the rate of population growth has plummeted and the death rate has increased. The majority of the population, which is growing in number, is the aforementioned children. Is this a problem? Absolutely!
What is the solution? Highly qualified psychologists are needed but there are none of them. At least the number of psychologists who are capable of rendering assistance at least to the majority of children with problems is limited. Are there any school clubs or NGOs working with children? They used to be functioning before.
For several years that Dashoguz environmental club was operating, hundreds of children were involved in the nature conservation process. They went hiking, studied the Turkmen wildlife, participated in international conferences, organizing summer camps and so on and so forth. They grew up to become wonderful open-minded individuals. Similar groups were functioning in Ashgabat, Turkmenbashi and Turkmenabad. Wherearetheynow? Your "zealous" special services have totally destroyed them all. Have these clubs been replaced with any alternatives?
Instead you are offering CHYARE! This is "entertainment" for relatively healthy (for the time being) children.
Hours-long lining up under the sun, in rainy or windy weather� Daily marching and rehearsals, which are exhausting for vulnerable children's bodies.
Female students from the medical college, who are already aware of the female body and women's health, believe that many of them won't become mothers and give birth to healthy children. Girls wearing light dresses made from synthetic fabric spend hours sitting on cold benches in the stadiums and chanting loudly "Arkkadag shokhrat!" under the TV cameras. They are not allowed to put pillows or blankets under their seats because "it will not look good on TV screens". As a result, girls get frozen and get sick�
Fatal incidents happen in all types of chyare. You are probably informed about them, aren't you? Such cases were recorded in the path to health near Ashgabat. In the Dashoguz velayat the bus which was transporting children to participate in another chyare, fell from the bridge. Childrendied.
What is this done for? Do you believe that residents demonstrate their love to you? This affection is displayed by khyakims and other short-lived officials rather than ordinary people.
Let us recall that in early 2007 you said that children shouldn't be involved in large-scale events. These were the right words but were quickly forgotten.
Most of today's children are not healthy and the remaining part is getting sick due to endless festivities. What generation of Turkmen residents will you leave behind? What should the country expect from such a "policy"?
Can you give an answer at least to yourself?
The education system, which is being reformed by you for the second time and is still targeted at ideological propaganda rather than children's cognitive development, has remained outside this letter. Hopefully, this will be a topic of another letter soon.
P.S. I would like to thank the readers who helped me to compose this letter. Lookforwardtonewideas.