Bashkiria stops drinking to improve their village

Sober Village contest with big cash prizes continues in the republic

Bashkiria stops drinking to improve their village
Photo: Flida Sakhipova

Bashkortostan has announced the competition Sober Village, aimed at promoting a sober lifestyle, identifying and encouraging settlements where the work to prevent alcoholism is underway. The competition lasts until 31 January, 2022, it will be held at the expense of the grant of the head of the republic. Thus, the regional authorities hope to cope with alcoholism in rural areas. How the competition is held and how effective such measure is in the fight against drunkenness — read in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Winner gets 6 million for improvement

The current competition is the third in a row. Forty rubles have been allocated from the republican budget for its implementation. The participants are required to achieve a reduction in the level of alcoholism among the villagers, and for this purpose — to reduce the sale of alcohol in local stores and eliminate the points of sale of moonshine.

Residents of each locality decide how to achieve their goals at people's gatherings. Somewhere they organise interest groups, somewhere they conduct anti-alcohol lectures or make and publish thematic videos for social networks. Then, a commission composed of specialists from different ministries and departments evaluates the efforts of the villagers using a point system.

The competition consists of two stages. At the municipal level, villages compete within each of the districts. Then the winner of the municipal stage represents the district at the republican stage.

The municipal stage finishes with the public defence of participants. During the competition, changes in the indicators of the participant — locality will be considered. The winner of the 1st place becomes a participant of the republican stage, which finishes in July 2022.

Participants are required to achieve a reduction in the level of alcoholism among the villagers. Photo: semiletka.ru

The republican contest is held in four nominations:

  • “Large settlements” with a population of more than 3 thousand people,
  • “Big settlements” — from 1 to 3 thousand people,
  • “Average settlements — from 0,2 to 1 thousand people,
  • “Small settlements” — less than 0,2 thousand people.

Prize fund of the republican stage: 1st place — from 3 to 6 million rubles, 2nd place — from 2,5 to 4 million rubles, 3rd place — from 1,5 to 3 million rubles.

The funds won will be used for the improvement of the settlement. According to the results of the previous competition, the village of Nizhneikbaevo in the Baymaksky district took 1st place among small settlements. In December, a new sports complex appeared here.

“The most necessary object for a small village, this object will be an incentive for the upbringing of the younger generation, for aesthetic, moral, spiritual education," said Imam-Khatib Ramil Khasanov.

“Throughout the entire competition, we have held 140 events. During the competition, a hockey box was built on the natural ice of a round lake near the village, teams from Abzelilovsky and Baymaksky districts were invited. We didn't know until the last moment that we had won. This is very exciting. When we were declared the winners, tears of joy appeared. Radiy Khabirov was surprised how we won without having a single social object. He promised to come, so we are looking forward to it. In our village there is no shop, no club, no school, no first-aid station, there is one old mosque. We have 28 yards, 70 people literally, but everyone participated. The money was used to build the children's sports and cultural complex!” Ramzia Bakhtieva, a resident of the village, shares her impressions.

The village of Tash-Elga entered the republican stage and won a special prize for activity. Photo: facebook.com/durtulinskiy50adm

“Our task was to make a road. It propelled people”

There have never been any problems of the mass consumption of alcohol in the village of Tash-Elga in the Dyurtyuli district, local deputy Ruslan Fatikhov tells Realnoe Vremya.

“We have a good situation in our village, in the district in this regard. I've been driving around our village for as long as I've ever seen people drinking. Such contests as Sober Village contribute to raising the initiative in the countryside. We considered winning this competition in order to implement the project for the improvement of the rural settlement. Our task was to build a road. It propelled people. Our whole village has united. Almost all the villagers united around one idea.”

The efforts were not in vain. The village of Tash-Elga entered the republican stage and won a special prize for activity.

“We held lectures, sports, cultural events. Narcologists from Ufa came to us as speakers, lectured on a healthy lifestyle, amateur groups performed. Fishing was sporty, relay races. We found our fellow countrymen in different countries of the world, recorded a video where they showed how they play sports abroad, and everyone said 'Tash-Elga is a sober village'," recalls Ruslan Fatikhov.

The deputy notes that the problem of alcoholism in rural areas is really serious. Villages without jobs and without active residents are at risk.

“There must be some kind of human asset. In our village, such an asset has been formed — this is both the village head, and the head of our rural settlement supported, and the head of the Dyurtyulinsky district. There is very little work in some settlements, apparently there is nothing left for people to do. It's hard to find the enthusiasm and purpose for which to try to change something.”

According to Fatikhov, sports can become the entertainment that can diversify rural life and help to forget about drinking alcohol.

“In the Miyakinsky district, the village took 2nd place, they wanted to make a beach volleyball court in their village. And they did it. Now, of course, it's off-season, but in the summer people will go there. They were inspired with this idea. It was a pleasant surprise for me.”

The editor-in-chief of the Sport and Healthy Lifestyle publication, Ildus Bikmetov, noted that just talking about the dangers of alcohol is an inefficient way, it is necessary to give people other activities and entertainment:

“Why do people drink? Sometimes it's because of some kind of pain, depression, to get away from reality. If people have a business that makes their eyes burn, it's not necessarily a sport, if they are united by an idea in any field. A person will try and pursue the goal. They themselves will understand at this moment that they do not need to drink at all.”

“People living in rural areas are the soul of the people”"

The need to fight for sobriety in rural areas in Bashkortostan has been repeatedly stated by the head of the region, Radiy Khabirov:

“While communicating with my colleagues — heads of other regions of our big country, I am always proud to say that almost 40 percent of the rural population lives in our republic. People living in rural areas are the soul of the people. It is very important for us that our village develops, new families appear, children are born. We have breathed new energy into the Sober Village contest.”

The head of the republic is convinced that it will not be possible to solve the problem of surrogate alcohol only with the help of bans, fines and criminal penalties:

“Unfortunately, in recent years, a lot of surrogate alcohol has appeared in the republic, mortality from poisoning with it has increased. We realised that we need to become tougher in the fight against this evil. In some areas, we almost had to conduct 'military operations' against surrogate dealers. I knew for sure that only force methods would not solve this problem, that it was necessary to raise people who would say 'no' to this plague. In my opinion, we have succeeded. And of course, the Sober Village contest helped us in this. The essence of the contest, however, is not in this. It unites people, fellow villagers. I see that there is a lot of interest, people want to live better. The competition is multiethnic!”

Emil Ziyangirov
Bashkortostan