Evening. A suburb of Moscow. A two storey building with dark windows looking deserted but with many people inside. This is an illegal guest workers’ hostel with extremely awful conditions most of us would refuse to live in…
All windows inside are covered with a black film or laid with bricks. Nobody should know somebody lives here.
About 500 people live in a small barrack which is occupied by an “enterprise” offering street cleaning services. The owner of the enterprise took the workers’ documents and arranged with the police so that they kept away from this building. Besides, nobody will ever complain here. If the hostel is closed, 500 people will find themselves on the street.
The first impression – it’s extremely dirty here. Cockroaches crawl along the floor and walls, sometimes rats run. This fact, though, doesn’t prevent children from walking barefoot. Cockroaches fall on people, food and beds from the ceiling but nobody pays attention to them anymore. All black spots on the floor are cockroaches.
The fragment of the wall.
There are many children here. Most of them are ill, some even die sometimes. No medical help is provided. It’s impossible to call an ambulance either as this house doesn’t exist on the map.
One of the rooms. Very little furniture. 10 men who live in this small room has to sleep on the floor. Almost all of them are street cleaners. A holiday table consists of bread, soda, apples and pilaf.
The most tasty pilaf is eaten with hands.
Holiday supper. Roast meat. Guest workers can afford such a meal only several times a year.
7 people live in this room and sleep in turns. Still it’s not quite clear why the room is so dirty. It seems the stove hasn’t been washed for several years.
An average salary of these people is 6.000 rubles ($200). But officially, they don’t even exist. Each worker brings about 20.000 rubles ($660) to their boss monthly. 500 workers – 10.000.000 rubles ($330.000). And this is only one hostel.
But don’t think these people work hard for such money. They don’t.
Each of them has his own story about what made them come to Moscow. The police doesn’t bother them. On the contrary, they protect them and help if there are any difficulties.
Conditions in which guest workers live are often harder and more awful than their work. As it turned out, some of them live with their families and children in basements of the houses. Though every district has its own hostels for workers, the rooms are usually rent by market sellers. As for the Tadzhiks, they have to occupy basements where they live, give a birth to their children, bring them up, cook food, wash themselves in the basins and have meal among the pipes.
By the way, the place in the basement costs money as well. For the Russian it’s 400 rubles ($13.3), for the residents of the CIS – 500 rubles ($16).
That’s how they live, the guests of Russia…