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Our Authorities Feel Shame at Speaking About Homeless People

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  • Our Authorities Feel Shame at Speaking About Homeless People


    01 Feb 05

    The photo exhibition of Onik Grigorian was dedicated to Bash, Gor,
    Mikael, Ruzan and Natasha, homeless people that dwell in the park by
    the House of Chamber Music, in the ground floor of a newly built
    building on the Northern Avenue, in front of the edifice of the US
    embassy, etc. The exhibition was held at Narekatsi Art Union. Bash,
    one of them is dead already. He passed away in eight days after being
    photographed. His friends gathered in the park near the House of
    Chamber Music and buried him in the cemetery envisaged for the
    homeless people and put the regular number on his grave on the day he

    Onik Grigorian is bewildered why the Armenian authorities don't do
    anything to help the homeless. For this very reason, it is already a
    month that he wanders in the streets of Yerevan, talks to the
    homeless, makes friends with them and tries to help them somehow.

    "There are homeless people in almost all countries of the world. But
    shelters are being built for them to spend the winter, the hardest
    season of the year, so that these homeless people don't get frozen. At
    least once a daythe homeless are given hot food in these countries. 19
    homeless people died in Yerevan in a month," Onik Grigorian said. He
    works with Edik Baghdasarian, head of the Union of Investigative
    Journalists, and prepare photos for Hetq Internet weekly.

    "Our authorities don't want to accept that we have the problem of
    homeless people in Armenia. It seems to be a disgraceful phenomenon
    for them. For ten days, we have been trying to take these people to
    the hospital. We failed to take them all. Only one of them was taken
    there but he died soon. Neither the society, nor the state
    institutions want to help the homeless, to support them morally and
    psychologically," Edik Baghdasarian is sure.

    He said that mainly the Diaspora Armenians expressed readiness to help
    them. The Association of the Armenian Students of New York send $200,
    and 3 American Armenian physicians will arrive in Armenia to render
    them medical aid free of charge. Not a single local Armenian physician
    helped the homeless and only the members of the union put bandages on
    their wounds. The homeless are telling about their lives, their
    relatives, their disappointments in the film shot in association with
    Yerkir Media TV. The stray dogs are the most faithful and close
    friends for most of them, as they feel more confident and clam with
    the dogs than with the human beings.

    The representative of RA Labor and Social Security Ministry thinks
    that the society should deal with the issue of the homeless and not
    the state. In the course of the recent few years, they have been
    elaborating a program on creating a social center for the homeless,
    but it is so hard to find a donor organization for sponsoring this
    initiative. At present, the bill on socialsupport is submitted to RA
    Government. Being approved it will be adopted at RA National
    Assembly. According to her, the new law will make the homeless of our
    country more protected.

    It is rather surprising but the Armenian Church also is rather
    indifferent to the problem of the homeless. Not a single
    representative of Araratian diocese was present at the arrangement
    though they had been invited. Meanwhile, they should teach lessons of
    mercy and generosity by practicing them in everyday lifeā=80¦

    By Ruzan Poghosian