Petrozavodsk women demand more kindergartens on Children’s Day

More than 300 women marked Children’s Day on Wednesday by rallying in Russia’s northwestern Petrozavodsk to protest against the lack of places in the city’s kindergartens and demand a solution to the problem.

The campaign was organized by a group of mothers whose children do not attend kindergartens because of the lack of free places.

“We demand that all the children are provided with places in kindergartens, and that parents whose children do not go to kindergartens receive compensation,” leader Vera Panova told the crowd in front of the city administration building.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union the majority of state kindergartens were closed and their buildings sold to private owners. Over the last decades, the national birth rate has improved, but the number of available places in state kindergartens remains miserable.

Meanwhile, President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday granted families with many children special medals at an official ceremony in Kremlin. “Providing support to motherhood and childhood is our priority. Our country has no future without children. The state’s goal is to do its best to make the number of families such as yours increasing every year,” he addressed the guests at the beginning of the event.

In his turn, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin marked Children’s Day with a trip to the Moscow Circus along with some 3,000 kids from children homes.

He said the government was not forgetting about existing social problems, but could not solve everything overnight. “We do so much – build schools, kindergartens, stadiums. But what the government is doing is not enough.”

PETROZAVODSK, June 1 (RIA Novosti)

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