Many years ago in district No. 4 located in Tehran municipality area No. 12 is well known as Harandi range (Qar gate), I spent many days and nights. In 2001 and 2002 for organizing plan of this area, some civil and military senior officials have participated in some meetings. At that time I was the manager of organizing centers for street children (Green House), meanwhile one of my favorites was presence in meeting places of pathology. Whenever I left my workplace, I was going among homeless, offenders and various spectra of damaged people even midnight because my workplace was near to Qar gate. I was easily entering vagrants’ houses and interviewing for hours. While damages organizing headquarter was forming, some managers left the meeting and went to streets. Adib alley, vineyard (Baq-e-Angouri) underneath the market… of course they were not going to Molavi because one house or an alley was sufficient to see whatever comes in mind concerning pathology. They were more interested than others, and they inclined toward more detailed observations beside meeting and inspection. Detection the severity and scope of damage was to the extent that the possibility of passing was not more than one or two alleys. Speculations was propounded for natives census and detoxification issue concerning these neighborhood for health was the starting point but there was no result because of depth of the damage. There were Dr. Va’ez Mahdavi, Mr. Mostafa Janqoli, Dr. Rah chamani, Dr. Mousavi Chalak the NHS manager and Colonel Rouzbahani FATEB deputy police (Tehran disciplinary force command) and about 20 others. These meetings led to rent a house and a banner was installed on the top of the door as healthy house but after a few days we liquidated with landlord by paying a sum of money. Because of very dense structure of the residential area, extreme poverty, the migrants and seasonal workers (35 %) and foreigners (20 %), Indian fakirs (about 8 %), prostitutes and addicts and criminals and offenders (40 %), this area was the most risky neighborhood in Iran and headquarter of health city had been introducing this area as the most risky neighborhood for two years.
It was intended we were having meeting in a full-damage neighborhood weekly. Azadshahr within Cheetgar, Susa Sangtarashan, Farahzad valleys, Susa wheat silos, around Azadegan ring were other areas where the managers’ meetings were being held but the meeting centrality was in Harandi and KHajavi Kermani areas.
It was a new orifice and a part of the reality was touched by the managers.
I was young that I told Dr. Rah Chamani among senior managers: “if 10 percent of children be legally kept at boarding centers because of parents’ incompetence, all capacities of Welfare organization centers will be saturated” and he replied: “we have plans for all of them” but when we entered to the first valleys and houses where sometimes more than forty families lived in, Silence was reigned everywhere.
Ali Soltan Alizadeh Maleki, one of the famous martial artists along with his 7 year old innocent son were drug users; some of prostitutes were introducing themselves as tall Pari disciples (well known prostitute of Qal’e shahre no); more than five hundred people stayed at park till morning and I was with Reza Mirkarimi and Tahmineh Milani (directors) and Economist reporter; in the book of “imprisonment alternatives for women”, I had seven pages interviews with each of these 50 addicted precedented homeless women during a week in winter (this book was published with the help of Dr. Shahla Mo’azami from Penal and Criminology Institute of Tehran University and I did the survey); police 110 was not established and for the most deplorable traumatic situations, there was not any reception by Emergency and police; two brothers named Davoud and Rahoul with their mother were homeless and infected by heroin and they did prostitution for drug costs; I escorted them to the juvenile court in Shariati Ave. and as always judge Mozaffari sentenced and their mother died a few days later; three homeless burned themselves in four days in March 2002; along with Dr. Vazirian and Dr. Nasiri Manesh the first founders of DIC, I led them to addicts meeting places; for a week I had training sessions in Rouzbeh hospital along with ten people affected by HIV and RSA took place for a month in 2003; I did a lot of documentations until the film “Hell but Cold” won first place in Kish documentary film festival; we were going to meeting places with enthusiasts and experts many nights and days and they were shocked and confused for days; office and non office hours with high risky children and runaway offenders.
Sometimes I was busy to work with juvenile offenders and youth offenders in the city; I was walking with Hojjatoaleslam Zam (the title of Muslim clergy) in the alleys of the neighborhood for half a day and then we saw two police officers tried to open an old man fist to take his small package of heroin; I was invited to cooperate with Iran newspaper for taking photographs of gangs’ crimes.
It took more than a decade and I am married now and for this reason I reduced the constant presence in damage environment. Because of making livelihood I could not ponder on damages fields like the past time, only from time to time on various pretexts like taking photographs, television interviews and visiting the addiction prevention students, I was observing the situation of this neighborhood but there was not a dramatic change. Slowly about ten percent of the houses were transformed into apartments and consumption patterns have changed toward crystal (70 %). The natives who are less than ten percent, for economic conditions they were forced to live in this neighborhood. Every so often this neighborhood is taken into consideration; recently, the municipal authorities have also expressed concerns about this matter but what will it be the result of real observation of Tehran full-damage areas?
The first issue is recognizing the current situation. We must know where we are and what we do. One of the September’s news was based on this matter that five million people in the country are without a national ID card while priority has been recognizing peoples and issuance national ID card and the observations close to the damages statistics reality is out of reach.
Seyed Ahmad Rahimi
Head of the national association of the social work centers
Articles relevant to the third Iranian social workers’ media campaign