polovragiPolovragi commune is situated 50 km from Târgu-Jiu and includes Polovragi and Racoviţa villages. The population consists of 2820 people including 404 self-identified Roma according to the 2011 Census. The Roma did class themselves as belonging to this ethnic group and thus they cannot benefit from an expert on Roma issues.

In the village there is a Roma community in Rudărie located on the outskirts of Polovragi commune, on both sides of the river that crosses the village, that is separated from the non-Roma community within the village. Thus, the community is geographically isolated, situated in the foothills.


Students from the Roma community are served by one school (primary and lower secondary school), located at a considerable distance; the community used to have a primary school, but it no longer operates. Romany language courses are held. Of the two kindergartens, one is located in the Roma community (100 % Rudari children) and the other in the centre of the village, bringing together both Romanian and Roma children. The main problems in terms of education are school dropout due to the lack of financial resources, the lack of interest in education, and the presence of certain cases of illiteracy. The level of schooling in Rudari community is low, the average being of 8 years of schooling and there is no school mediator.


In the centre there is a dispensary in which two individual medical practices with two family doctors and two nurses operate.

Housing and Infrastructure

The Roma community has 117 housings, with ownership documents only for the land on which they were built; access roads and interior roads are cobbled.

The Roma community has access to the electricity network, drinking water, sewerage, and sanitation services, but few homes are connected to or benefit from sanitation services. There is no transport means, except a school bus with 16 seats, which makes 2-3 journeys a day from school / kindergarten in the centre to the Roma community. The main problems concern the lack of ownership documents and of utilities. The houses are built of wood and mud, without a solid roof and they are exposed to flood risk, as they are built in the floodplain of the river. There is no kitchen, bathroom or toilet in many homes.

Employment and Income Sources

The active population (16-64 years) counts 250-270 people, mostly unskilled. The Rudari deal with wood work, they have various models, but they do not have an outlet. In some periods of the year they pick berries.

Entrepreneurship and Community Development

In the Roma community the leader has a wood manufacturing business. Also, tourism activity is quite intense, and the wood is an important natural resource. The community has an elected Roma local counsellor (who is also an entrepreneur), who is appreciated by its members. A representative of the Roma attends the meetings of the local council.

Picture Copyright: www.gorjeanul.ro