Norway has been on the lips of many these days. The Bodnariu case has been turned upside down. I refrained from writing anything so far, as the theme took a strange turn, in contradiction with the suffering of many children. This morning, however, I heard a piece of news like the ones in Gulliver's Travels: a Romanian Parliamentary Committee will go to Norway, to see what has been done in the case of the five siblings taken from their family. This surprised me, as I have not heard of parliamentary committees to take note of the drama and the suffering of the 8,000 children traumatised by institutionalisation here, in our country. Neither have I heard of parliamentary committees to consider that the tragedy of the almost 800 of them who were put into psychiatric units, psychologically decimated, due to the nightmare of living deprived of affection and of family life. I have not heard of members of parliament interested in the 320,000 children living in extreme poverty, in Middle Ages-like conditions, as the ones in the picture above. Without electricity. Without running water. Without heating during the winter. Hungry, and sick with cold. Torn apart by unimaginable deprivations, without shoes in the middle of the winter.
We fail to see them. They are not relevant, as they are here, in our country, and it does not really matter here. We have some 4 million children. The formal statistics say at least 55% of the children in Romania suffer from severe material deprivation, more intense than in any other European state. Which parliamentary committee is investigating this? We have 350,000 people surviving in marginalised communities, like the ones in the image below.
Who cares about them? Who checks if they have a personal identity number, if they have a birth certificate, if they have an ID, if they have ever seen a doctor in their life, or if they go to school? Which member of parliament proved to be scandalised, shocked at the inhuman conditions in which hundreds of thousands of children survive in our own country? We are the first in the EU at child mortality, with 10 to a thousand, double than the European average, and more than 40% of the deaths of children under the age of 5 have causes that could be prevented, but who cares about all this? These are here, under our noses, where we can make the law ourselves.
Members of parliament, why do you not create committees to check the causes of these real dramas, in our own world, in our own country, where you have a mandate and can actually change some things fundamentally?
When are we going to get rid of this cheap hipocrisy, of these false pretense defenders of child and human rights? We actually tolerate gracefully starving children on the roads, little girls washing our windscreens, raped girls, incest, broken bones of children from parents' hitting, frozen mothers with babies at their breasts lacking milk, aggressive fathers, beating wives and children under our eyes, hoards of youngsters begging for a penny, or they get a beating "at home" for not doing their ratio in begging.
How much do we have to see the sick new normality, with "man being a wolf to man", as Plaut said. We do not see the forest from the trees... You are scandalised that Norway has rules they actually observe, good or bad, as they are. You jump when people who accepted a citizenship are obliged to accept also what comes in a package: the civic behaviour, the rules of living in society, as they are, good or bad. I do not want to say anything about the effectiveness of separating five siblings from their parents. Neither about the way the Bodnariu case has been worked on. I am sad to think of the five siblings, especially as the oldest is only nine, but let us not forget the father has been there for 10 years, married to a Norwegian woman. They are all part of a system of laws, social norms, civic regulations, in a state of law. A state ranked among the first ones in terms of quality of life.
Instead, we have in our own country over 8,000 children up to the age of three suffering from malnutrition, and over 100 of them starved to death! This does not stir any discussions, or parliamentary groups, or protest meetings?
We are not able to look at ourselves in the mirror, but we look at others. We are full of problems, but we look at others' issues.
Thousands of children are born without being registered at birth, living at the outskirts of society, exploited, deprived of care, health services of any kind, without basic education. Many of them do not even officially exist. They are not part of any public evidence system, without access to any sort of social protection services.
You want more? Are you not bored yet? We have over 90,000 children with mental health challenges, but only 140 active pedo-psychiatrists. That is, about 650 children per specialist doctor. We have almost 5,000 youngsters exiting special care each year, with a pillow in their hands, without nothing at all in this world, without a shelter, without anybody or anything to offer them a bit of help. You see the image below? This is how thousands of "homes" look like in our country, with tens of thousands of children in them. In winter time, they get warmed up with a stove, with fire in the hut, wide open, with the hot chimney at a hand's reach, dizzy of hunger and cold.
Let's give Norway what is Norway's to take. It is a country one should look up to, with open people, and more especially, with people who have helped us so much.The grants offered by Norway to Romania have helped exactly in such situations. They did not come with parliamentary committees to ask us questions, even if they could have done that thousands of times. They came, instead, with something constructive, they revigorated the NGO environment, they funded social projects, they built bricks where our hundreds of members of parliament preferred not to even look at.
it is hard for me to admit it, but we are a country accepting violence upon children. We tolerate aggression every day. We shout as a habit. We abuse our children out of habit, by insults, by bad words, by shouting and screaming and threats with beating, when we exhaust our very few arguments. We do not know how to be parents. For us, sayings such as "beating comes from heaven", or "beating a child is like medicine", or "two-three hits stream from love", or "where the mother hits, the flesh grows", or "you carress them with a few snaps before a beating" - are common grounds. And the list is not exhausted. I think we are one of the nations with the most sayings about the "educational value" of beating, which says a lot about our collective consciousness.
Let us not be hipocrits. We have so much drama under our eyes... Better we do something about it, in addition to just talking about it. The problem is - when there is work to do, when there is action to take, many of these noisy people just ran away.