MOSCOW: ‘’When you live on the streets, when you have a tent and there is no chance of bathing, people don’t understand you and its tough to get a job,’’ said Kolya, 22. He was sitting near a popular pedestrian street in Moscow trying to collect money for a sleeping bag, he said.
Born in a village in western Russia, Kolya said his mom put him into an orphanage when he was eight. At the time, the collective farm was falling apart and his mother had a third child. He said things are still difficult for his family.
His mother, step-father and two brothers live in a room and his mom earns about $100 a month. ‘’So as not to be a burden,” he said he left for Moscow a few months ago to look for work. He sleeps at night in the forests near the railroad tracks in the Moscow suburbs. I asked him what his plans were.
‘’If I raise money for a sleeping bag, I will hitchhike to Crimea. There is a lot of infrastructure to build in Crimea and an extra hand doesn’t hurt. Plus, it is a lot warmer there.”