Russian village bought by torrent site torrentreactor.net for $150,000 and renamed after it
TorrentReactor is one of the few companies that has decided to leave a permanent mark on the world map and rename a settlement after itself. The one with real houses and live inhabitants. A small russian village Gar was chosen to be renamed. It is located not far away from Seversk nuclear reactor (Russia, Tomsk region). As opposed to Google town that became the Texas «capital» for a limited period of time Torrentreactor village will retain its name forever. The price of $150,000 was announced for such «live billboard».
First reaction of Tomsk region authorities was controversial. But due to a considerable donation in favor of village citizens that accompanies the deal it was resolved pretty fast. The donation seems to cover costs for future development of the settlement and increase life standards.
Admins of the portal claim that adverisement and publicity is not the main goal of this whole act. They want to provide real help to at least one single village. «We realize it's just a drop in the ocean comparing to the amount of money needed to help thousands of other villages. But we at least do something to support complete strangers. We are proud that we are able to do so and hope we will be proud of this in the future. We would be even happier to become pioneers and other large Internet portals would follow our example to help many godforsaken places on Earth.»
The selection is explained easily as well: «We've picked a few thousands of godforsaken places around the world that are close to operating nuclear reactors to make a connection to the name of our company. The list was numbered and a random number was picked by a generator. The number 377 was a lucky one for Gar village. We think it was a good choice since Gar citizens are very kind and generous people.»
Gar village was founded in 1958 by so-called Old Believers (a religious movement of Russian Orthodox Church that denied 1650s reforms and adopted many traditions of Greek Orthodox). As Russia was a part of The Soviet Union at that time all religions were persecuted. Many people had to keep it underground. Seversk nuclear reactor (200 km or 124 miles from Gar village) was launched in the same year and many political prisoners had to work there. Families of former Gulag prisoners still live in villages around Seversk including Gar village and know a lot about nuclear reactors and energy. (FYI: Gulag - is the acronym for The Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies which was the ultimate source of free labor during repression years)
Gar village is now forgotten by authorities and lives in desolation. There are 214 citizens at the moment and 0 working businesses. The only income is from selling their home-grown vegetables in the nearby town. The average income of a Gar villager is about 1300 rubles ($42) a year! So they were extremely happy about the offer from torrentreactor.net company. The head of the settlement and the most respected Gar citizen Nikolay Prokhorov shared his thoughts: «Of course, we lose some of our history by renaming the village. But we will be able to create perspectives for our youth and the village in general. So we think it's a fair deal.»
- There have been just 3 PCs in the village until lately: 2 in the school library and 1 in the administration office. Just one of them had an Internet dial-up connection. So it's not surprising none of the villagers knew about torrentreactor.net portal (which is one of top 10 torrent indexers in the world) and torrents in general.
The majority of villagers found it hard to define what a website is and none could describe what torrentreactor.net Internet portal might do. But some of them tried to make assumptions. Two leading theories were heard:
- TorrentReactor is a large american nuclear station. (Villagers thought it was located on the outskirts of Toronto. But after they were explained that Toronto is the largest city in Canada some of them change their views.)
- TorrentReactor is an environmental organization fighting against building new nuclear reactors around the globe which is clearly stated by «net» suffix (in russian «net» means «no»).
Details of the deal
The amount of transaction is 4.5 mln rubles (about $148,000 or €115,000). Most of it will be split among villagers and the rest will be used to re-equip the local school, repair roads, purchase agricultural equipment and machinery. Also torrentreactor.net company decided to pay for broadband Internet connection in the settlement which will result in about 900,000 rubles ($30,000) because there are no networks nearby.