I visited many boarding schools and hospitals for the mentally ill, during this time I saw a large number of wards – in different conditions, mostly oppressive and inhuman. But there are times when you leave the boarding school shocked not at all by the conditions of people’s stay (on the contrary, the institution is extremely neat and clean), but by their deprivation. What is even sadder is when they are children.
These photographs show children with disabilities who are not like other children. They are isolated from society so that the “normal” people do not see those who are different from them. You will never meet them. And you can only learn about their existence from such photographs, which, unfortunately, I have accumulated too much.
I remember how shocked I was when I first visited the psycho-neurological boarding home of the fourth profile. There are children with physical disabilities and severe mental disorders, due to which they rarely live to their adulthood. As a rule, these children are not oriented in the environment and spend most of their time in small beds. Without any meaning to own life.
When we left the boarding home, there was a lump in my throat that could not be pushed through. We came out of there with a lot of dumb questions with no answers. If they had not been abandoned, had not been isolated, would they have lived better in this case? How can their quality of life be improved? Should ordinary people see that such children exist next to them? What exactly can I do?
It was the first time I saw such children. It’s one thing when you see an old, weak person who has lived a long life and managed to see something in this world. And another thing is when you have a child in front of you who does not know – and will never know – anything but his/her pain and four walls. And often they are completely unaware of anything. I have seen healthy men cry.