Child poverty in Baluchistan
In this footage, an unnamed human rights activist shows some of the massive poverty, deprivation and lack of even the most basic facilities in Iran’s Baluchistan province, whose people are persecuted, excluded and marginalized by the Iranian regime due to being Baluchi and Sunni. The activist speaks to some of the children in the area, which doesn’t even have a school building and who dream of such “luxuries” as basic education (supposedly guaranteed by the Iranian constitution) and even a school desk.
The human right activist asks the students, “What’s this here guys?” They respond, “this is our school.” Gesturing at the area around him, he asks, “So you mean that this is your school?”, with the children replying, “Yes it is.”
He asks the children: “What’s the name of this village?” and is told “Anjeerki village.” He repeats this, and the children again confirm it.
Speaking to the camera, the activist says, “This is a school, whether you want to believe it or not. We came here today to see the children living in this village. I swear to God, there is nothing else that can be said. Whatever we want to say, now everyone can see it, I hope. I hope.
He then says, “Now guys, introduce yourselves and say what grade you’re in.
The children reply:
“My name’s Baluch Nasiri, I’m in fourth grade.
“I’m Yassin Baluch, fifth grade.
“Reza Baluch, second grade.
“I’m Abu-Bakr Baluch.”
Activist: “What grade are you in Abu-Bakr?”
“I’m in fifth grade.”(1:26)
Activist: “And what about you, dear daughter?”
Activist: “What’s your name?”
“My name is Halimeh Baluchi.”
Activist: [to another child] “And you, my daughter?”
“My name’s Hadesh Shamsi.”
Activist: “What grade are you in, my daughter?”
The activist then says: “Now, what’s interesting about this school? During winter, the [school’s] location is here [out in the open], but during summer the children go under the shade of the trees, so under that tree there is the children’s ‘summer school.’ Anyway, there are two locations – that side and this side.
The activist asks the children: “Where does your village’s water come from?”
The children reply, “From the river.”
He continues, “So you have water then. Do you have piped water?”
A child responds, “No we don’t.”
The activist asks, “So where’s your teacher?”
The children tell him, “Our teacher went away.”
He asks, “So you don’t have a teacher today? And the children say, “Yes.” He then asks, “So did you have a teacher yesterday?” The children again say, “Yes,” to which he responds, “So today he hasn’t come, right?” The children say, “Yes, he didn’t come.” The activist inquires, “So you’ve fallen behind in your lessons?” and again the children say “Yes.”
Bidding farewell, the activist says, “Goodbye guys. Hope to come and see you again, okay?”
The children say, “Okay”, and the activist says, “Wave your hands. If God wills it, we will come and see you again.