This year the Republican Scientific Center of Neurosurgery, stationed in the Mirzo-Ulugbek district of Tashkent, will not be engaged in the cotton harvest. The staff of the medical establishment took the only right decision possible, that is to compensate for their non-participation. They collected 200,000 Som ($ 31) per person through a “strategic” campaign.
“We do not have enough medical staff, there are a lot of patients, and their treatment cannot be postponed. Everyone gave money, even the nurses whose salary does not exceed 350.000-400.000 Som ($ 55-62). In total, almost 500 people are employed in the clinic. I am not certain, but I heard that the money collected by our institution must be given to the representative of the district administration. Well, they could come here themselves to make arrangements with those who will work for us. In the past years, there were reported cases where hired workers took the money and disappeared” – said one staff member of the medical center.
According to him, no one wants to buy themselves free from the cotton campaign with their own money but people have no choice. No one listens to the doctors’ indignation, but as soon as they start talking about refusing to participate in a “particularly important governmental project” (collecting the country’s “white gold”), threats and intimidations start right away.
An elementary calculation shows that the price that the neurosurgery center had to pay for not having to collect cotton is 100 million Som ($ 15,600). In total, there are thousands of such groups in the country, not including the private sector. Conclusion: Cotton does not have to be cultivated, because all the money could just be collected from the Uzbek citizens, that is, serfdom could be replaced with a tribute.
September 10, 2016