Wednesday, 1 October 2008

The strange guests of Baku Metro

I would like to tell you a strange story which recently happened with me. It happened in the Metro. I mean in the Underground station. Before I faced with this event I was with my friends in the city center. It was too late and I decided to come back home by Metro. After some stations later a little boy who is 11 years old got in the same passenger carriage with me.He began to ask money for the treatment of his brother. Some people gave money but some of them laughed. He stayed in the carriage just a station. After the station he got off. In order to define the reality I followed him. He looked for new train. I approached to him. And after introducing myself I ask him some questions such why do you beg money?, Do you study anywhere? And etc. He told me that he doesn’t study. His mother died and he begs for the treatment of his brother.

Meanwhile, one woman about 40 – 45 aged come near me. She seemed as a beggar. But after the conversation with her I got understood that she is neither beggar nor gipsy. She does it because of her the worst standards of living. And she came to Baku from the sub of country. Her first question was who am I and why am I keeping the child away from the “work”? I politely approached the woman and asked about her relations with the boy. She told me that she is his mother. But when I said that he told me his mother died, she changed her answer by saying I am his aunt. When I said that I am journalist and I want to inform about her problem to others she tried to be a bit sincere. She introduced herself as Latifa Huseynova. And she is 34 years old. At first I ask about the boy she told me that he has got only a sister in that case it means the boy cheat the people in the Metro. Then she told me that she has got 5 children. But she has got extra 2 children as well whose parents died. The eldest age is 16 and the smallest is 5 years. Referring to her interview her husband is bed ill. And none of the children go to the school. Just only her 8 years daughter goes to school for first class. Latifa didn’t finished school either. After 8 classes she went out of the school.

I asked her about how many children “work” under her “leadership”. She tried to diminish the number by saying one – only 11 years old child. Another question of mine was how many times have you been involved this “job”? – it is still a year she answered. Why do you do that, if there are other opportunities to earn money such as housemaid? She told me she worked such jobs but it isn’t satisfactory for her to feed the children. For my question about is there any government support to you like donation? Yes, it is – she said. There is also one official who works at Customs Committee. But some times we need for much money because of one of the children (the child was there and she showed him to me) needs regular operation – she added. During her interview as a skeptic man she often repeated “I don’t cheat you, why should I do that?!”
In order to verify correctness of this information I approached the woman who works in the station as an inspector. She was near by me when I interviewed the Latifa. But she refused to answer the questions on Latifa. I understood that the information of Latifa about the children was given wrong and if inspector will say true there must be quarrel between them. That is by saying goodbye I finished my investigation.

Rustam Rahimli
Special reportage 26.09.2008