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Across China: A Uygur woman's way out of poverty

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-01-13 11:45

URUMQI - A toilet with a solar energy water heater, a kitchen using natural gas, electric heating instead of stoves - this is Tunisagul Hupur's new house in Shufu county, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

There was no way she could imagine how much her life would be changed two years ago, before the preferential policies from the regional government were introduced and investment from outside were made in her village located in Ogusak township, Xinjiang's less developed Kashgar prefecture.

Working in a garment factory during the low farming seasons, Tunisagul Hupur can earn 1,500 yuan ($219) a month to support her family.

A total of 285 households in Shufu county have shaken off poverty by the end of 2018. Tunisagul Hupur was among them.

In order to achieve targeted poverty alleviation and ensure the stable employment of at least one person in a poor family, the local government sent a work team to help the farmers build factories and develop the service industry in 2017.

In just two years, the village has taken on a facelift: wide asphalt roads with bright street lamps and green dustbins and hundreds of newly-built residential houses.

Tunisagul Hupur's family of five used to depend on only 1,333 square meters of land and a few cows and sheep for years. Now, with her security- guard husband earning 3,000 yuan per month, her eldest son working as a car mechanic in the county seat and her income from the factory, the family's living standards have improved significantly.

"We are no different from people living in the city now," Tunisagul Hupur said after moving into her new house with all types of modern facilities.

Last year, she traveled around several cities in the southern Guangdong Province including Guangzhou and Shenzhen on her way to visit her daughter, who is studying at a vocational school there.

"Hardworking women have become the main workforce for villages to get rid of poverty," said Ayitursun Osman, member of the Ogusak township party committee.

Since 2018, more than 7,500 poverty-relief cadres and 18,700 village-based cadres have taken the lead for poverty alleviation work in Kashgar's rural and pastoral areas.

Shanghai, Guangdong, Shandong and Shenzhen that have entered partnerships with Kashgar in its fight against poverty have invested over 6 billion yuan in the prefecture, bringing in more than 350 enterprises, building 224 factories and employing nearly 20,000 local residents.

The county government has also offered night school courses and training classes for local farmers to help them obtain more knowledge and skills.

Currently, 237,900 people have been lifted out of poverty and over 80 percent of them earn more than 5,000 yuan a month, according to the Kashgar poverty alleviation and development office.

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