Interviewee ID: 990578
Parent's name: Luvsandorj
Year of Birth: 1938
Notes on education:
Work: retired / Tsenhermandal sum Party secretary
Born in: Tsenhermandal sum, Hentii aimag
Lives in: Herlen sum (or part of UB), Hentii aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
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family; democracy; privatization; environment; authority;
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privatization; Party member; democracy; nature and environment; boss-worker relations; intelligentsia; darga;
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Summary of Interview 100538A with Odgerel
I was born in an moderately well-off family in Tsenhermandal sum of Hentii. In 1949 I entered elementary school in Tsenhermandal and, having finished the seventh grade, I entered the Teacher’s College of Dornod. After graduating the Teacher’s College I taught in Norovlin and Tsenhermandal sums and at the aimag centre. I joined the MPRP in 1966 and receiving an order ‘to take an exam at the Party Institute’ I entered the Party Institute in 1968. I graduated from it in 1972 and worked as a party cell head in Jargalthaan and Batnorov sums and I retired in 1990. After retirement I worked as a receptionist for the party committee and was a workshop foreman at the public service department. At that time the aimag boss called me and said, “Odgerel guai you have been doing difficult economic work in the countryside for 19 years. Apartments aren’t available in the aimag centre.” And so they gave me a two room apartment where a Russian specialist used to be live, but he had left. It was an unforgettable event in my life.
At the advent of democracy I was retired and I lived in the aimag centre. In 1990 some young people of the democratic faction appeared, and the Central Committee supported them and the Committee began resigning from their jobs. At that time there were young and old people here who supported the democracy. With the advent of democracy it became possible to speak freely, and visit the places you wanted to. On the other hand, people exaggerated their freedoms and didn't understand their responsibilities. When democracy first arose, I understood that things would be open and there would be enough consumer goods. After democracy came, people were divided by the parties and families were split into different groups. Also, people acquired too many rights and the wine and alcohol became widespread, which resulted in the deterioration of people‘s discipline and children’s upbringing. In order to help their family women work a lot.
After democracy, the collective's livestock were all given to the herders with the slogan 'the livestock for the herders'. But the herders who had been always been given fodder from the collectives had problems tending the livestock. The quick-minded ones increased the size of their herds, but others lost them. Since 2005 the herders have been coming to terms with it. The cooperatives gave livestock to the people who had become members of the collectives (who had collectivized their livestock). For example, I was given 12 heads of sheep, 4 cows and 2 horses from Tsenhermandal collective as the person who had first collectivized their livestock. As for the industrial economic units, the offials who had been working at the time of privatization and a few supervisors ended up with them. Let’s take the food factory as an example. The number of its workers steadily decreased, and the remaining few people privatized the factory with the pink and blue privatization coupons. The flour plant went to one individual and it didn’t operate and production was stopped. The industrial complex was left as empty buildings.
The dargas and officials of the industrial complex had divided the buildings and what-not between them but most of them couldn’t make anything out of it. The privatization couldn’t give each one an even share. For example, the former economists became rich right away and the majority of the ordinary workers didn't get their share. Apart from the livestock, the collective's property was obtained by the boss and the few people in the organization who remained at the end. The workers who had been at the lower level were given something like a chair. The state officers who had been working at the sum centre couldn’t get livestock unless he or his parents have given some to the collectives earlier. There are many people whose privatization coupons had disappeared through the stock exchange. After privatization a few people who were quick-minded and industrious benefited. The majority were left empty-handed. Privatization had been carried out suddenly without any prior arrangement, and without any training or information, and so it had many bad effects. I gave my blue coupons to the Coin and Decoration factory. Initially once a month they used to give us stock exchange news and later they stopped. I don’t know what has happened now. It is same with the land privatization. The sum citizens cannot get land while an Ulaanbaatar citizen purchases it.
Odgerel is famous among the women of her generation for being a party boss. Even today she is actively involved in party and social work.