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“The pandemic does not retreat, we do not lose vigilance.” Narine Jhangiryan

The enlarged community Tegh can be considered one of the unique communities of Syunik region, in the composition of the Council of Elders of which a relatively large number of females are present: three out of 11 are women. If we try to complete the picture, women are not included in the Council of Elders of Kapan, Goris, Meghri, Tatev, Gorayk communities. Sisian and Kajaran have two female members of the Council of Elders.


Narine Jhangiryan is the oldest of the three female members of the Tegh community council. Narine Jhangiryan, 52, has been the principal of Aravus Elementary School for 20 years. Four years ago, she decided to try gerself in politics. She was nominated as a member of the Council of Elders of the community of Tegh,  receiving 200 votes. The motivation for participating in the elections was the interest in the field and why not the principle of striving to increase the role of women. Today, WomenNet.am talks to her about the problems that have arisen in the community during the state of emergency.


According to Ms. Narine, in order to exclude the spread of the new coronavirus infection, for security reasons, Tegh, like other municipalities, stopped accepting letters and applications from citizens and organizations. She says the municipality works online, serving 7 settlements. In highlighting the difficulties caused by COVID-19, Narine Jhangiryan pointed out the closure of educational institutions. The pedagogue does not like not going to work, although they have gone to distance learning and are actually working. “We are used to going to school and we are in favor of that version of education. Perhaps distance learning will have a positive effect, time will tell, but we have not yet adapted, ”she said.


The established state of emergency, the restrictions, have psychologically affected the residents. Narine Jhangiryan admits that people with health problems are unable to visit medical centers due to mobility restrictions and are more consciously avoiding it. It is a pity that they are able to be next  a relative  neither in joy nor in misfortune. Of course, all this is not typical of our nation.


After the first case of infection in Goris was registered, according to the member of the Council of Elders, the vigilance in the communities seems to have increased. Although since March 16th, when the state of emergency was declared, they have followed the rules of security and restrictions, but she says that when the danger is very close, it is more than sobering. I printed out those leaflets and distributed them to some of the villagers myself. Information about individual protective steps was posted in a visible place on the school window, and the residents always followed the news on the TV channel.


To what extent are people disciplined and alert she shows by the example of Aravus? “Teachers’ salaries have been transferred, but most people are afraid to go to Goris. There is no shop in Aravus for shopping they reach Tegh village, which is only 2-3 km from Aravus, they go on foot. The single elderly and the socially disadvantaged were provided with food packages by both community and various organizations and individual benefactors. Angela Grigoryan, a community social worker, is very attentive and does an invaluable work. As for the disinfection, the public places of the seven settlements of the enlarged community and the rural roads have been disinfected with a liquid, ”says Narine Jhangiryan.


She says that although she is a counselor in 7 villages, she is most concerned about her village. “Unlike many villages where there are empty houses, the picture in Aravus is the opposite, everyone is busy. Along with this inspiring fact, there is another problem,” she said. Young people get married, they want to live separately, there is no home. In order for my village not to be destroyed and not to be considered a wish of my aging heart, a building should be built and given to young families so that newlyweds do not leave the village. There is also a need to have a kindergarten. There are kindergarten children, for whom we  can open a group at school, ”says my interlocutor.

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