Unfortunately, we don’t always manage to find time for helping people living near us in the crazy rhythm of contemporary business life. As if urged by any unknown force people are hurrying on their own business devoting all their ideas to professional self-realization and increment of wealth. However, regrettably, those who happen to face a difficult real-life situation, for whom social benefits seemingly usual for others have become impossible, who need constant attention and care don’t come in their view. In order to understand and to see it one should just slow down the pace and simply look around. Because it is never too late for good deeds.
Long ago charity became one of indispensable attributes for business and political elite.
The powers that be take care not only of increasing their assets, but also render assistance to their neighbors using for this purpose some portion of their funds. This fact proves the high level of self-consciousness and culture of the society which has survived the period of formation and consolidation of capitalism characterized, first and foremost, by intention to derive profit. Gradually, with the consolidation of the model of capitalism representatives of business and establishment began to feel the need for philanthropy and charity caused by their wish to leave after them not only material, but also spiritual heritage.
Nowadays charity is going to a new level, it is becoming collective and international.
Thus, in the beginning of August 2010, 38 American billionaires signed an obligation to contribute at least 50 percent of their capital for charity purposes. Well-known investor Warren Buffet put forward the initiative called “The Giving Pledge”. Among those who have signed the initiative there are Microsoft Corporation founder Bill Gates, film director George Lucas, and Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg. On December 10, 2010 Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz, the founders of Facebook, the world’s largest social network, joined Warren Buffet’s initiative. Together with them other 15 people joined the initiative encouraging the richest Americans to take part in charitable activity.
In Russia, contrary to popular belief, tendencies to charitable donations didn’t’ emerge in the 90s after the USSR collapse, but much earlier.
One of the most famous and prominent Russian philanthropists was Gadji Zeinalabdin Tagiev, the oil and textile tycoon of Baku in the XIX century, who made great donations for construction of schools, publishing activity, and many other things. Moscow entrepreneur, well-known publisher, the art gallery owner Kozma Terentyevich Soldatenkov and Elisaveta Fyodorovna, a sister of the wife of tsar Nicolas II, have also become famous as philanthropists.
Nowadays philanthropy is becoming more and more popular in Russia. The Tyumen Region where, too, charity has become a traditional practice is no exception.
In addition to the authorities rendering adequate assistance to low-income people donations and helping measures at private initiatives are widespread. It has become evident that charity is not alien to the leading companies of the region, its economic backbone.
Thus, Sibnefteprovod OJSC has been rendering assistance to those who need it during several years, it provides charity support to orphanages, public organizations which help disabled people to be settled in life.
In particular, the company has provided charitable assistance for acquiring laptop computers for disabled children of Tyumen. Computer is the only link with the external world for many specific children, a real possibility to see it without going out. Federal News Agency Argumenty i Fakty (Arguments and Facts) has established “Dobroe Serdtse” (“The Good Heart”) Charity Foundation which has been implementing various programs for already several years, including the Easter Joy annual charity festival.
One of the central figures of AiF publications within the framework of the Good Heart foundation’s activity was a young citizen of Tyumen Tolgat Esbolov.
This young man who became a merited citizen of Tyumen when he was 20 seems to be rather successful at his age: he is a student of the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Sciences of Tyumen State University, a well-known local artist whose works have been displayed at the “Usadba Kuptsov Kolokolnikovykh” (“Estate of Merchants Kolokolnikovs”) museum complex. But he has no arms...
Tolgat Esbolov was born in 1991. He spent his childhood and youth in the North, in the settlement of Stary Urengoi. Jointly with his parents Tolgat overcame hardships of life, he learned to move, to communicate with other people - he passed his first exams on tolerance and patience. Tolgat was born without both arms but it didn’t prevent him from learning how to express his feelings on paper. He paints using his feet… And how wonderful he paints! His artworks are full of beauty and sense, they are close to and understood by every person, since eternal human values, such as nature, spirituality, traditions, are reflected there.
Tolgat has been living in Tyumen for several years. He has taken many diplomas and merit certificates with him from his home settlement of Stary Urengoi in addition to the gold medal received at school. The most significant of them are as follows: the First Degree Diploma in the “Painting and Graphics” category of the VII-th District Festival of Creative Works of Disabled Children, Diploma of the winner in the “Pictorial Art” category of the VIII-th regional festival. One of the most “meaningful” awards is his merit certificate “The Best Speaker in the ‘Parliamentary Debates’ School Tournament” (the 10th form) and the merit certificate granted to all the Esbolovs “for active participation in the exhibition of decorative and applied arts at the school festival.” The awards demonstrate that the family is well-knit, friendly, and creative.
When Tolgat was born some people tried to dissuade his mother, Zinaida Alekseevna, from taking him home out of the maternity hospital. But she couldn’t leave his son. Even now mother is the main support for the young artist and motherly love is the main topic of his picture Tree of Life showing the woman holding the globe in such a way as a mother holds her child.
Tolgat began painting when he was four. His mother and he together developed movements of his legs and feet. Tolik, as she called him, took toys with his feet, he brushed his teeth and washed dishes using his feet, too. He behaved as if he didn’t notice, or, rather, didn’t want to notice his difference from others. He enjoyed and enjoys life. According to his mother he never complains of life, never cries. Tolgat doesn’t withdraw into himself, on the contrary, he is open to the world and is willing to share his love to life with others by way of painting.
Tolik goes to the institute as all the ordinary students - by bus. He listens to lectures attentively and memorizes them, on coming home he gets down to homework using his computer. He works with computer mouse and keyboard using his feet, as well.
But there is something yet that Tolik would like to have very much. For a long time he has been dreaming of arm prostheses which would enable him to live a full life. Ordinary “soviet” prostheses are not good, they are rigid, low-functional, inflexible, and can hardly help a young artist. But there are prostheses of a new generation assembled individually for each patient. It is an absolutely new technology developed in Germany making it possible to approximate a prosthesis in terms of functionality to a human arm as much as practicable. Patients are operated on in Germany, too.
For the purpose of helping a young Tyumen citizen to acquire new wonderful arms different people joined efforts. Tolgat was included in the “Good Heart” charity program through which collection of donations for prostheses and operation was organized. Not only common people, but also industrialists of the region took pity of the sick young man. Among them there is Antipinsky Oil Refinery which is providing substantial support to Tolgat’s family and has played a decisive role in helping the young man to acquire arms at last. Administration of the refinery has provided the necessary amount, more than 600 thousand rubles, intended for buying those high-quality up-to-date German prostheses which will enable the talented young man to discover new true-life aspects, previously unknown to him. It is difficult to overestimate the extent of generosity of this move considering the high cost of the operation and prostheses owing to which Tolgat will be able to live his life in full.
Certainly, it is good luck that there were and remain people not indifferent to the troubles of others. It means that the time of good deeds has not passed yet.