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Bringing modern living to rural villages

By WU YAN | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-25 07:14

Happy to help

Each employee who is sent to the countryside is assigned at least one family. Liu is now responsible for helping Huang Ruhe, 72, and his wife in Hongxing.

The couple lost their only son after a long illness, and their daughters have married and moved far away. Although they can survive on a monthly minimum living allowance and pension, they still plant crops and keep cattle.

"It is hard for them to farm due to their age, so keeping livestock is easier," said Liu, who persuaded his former employer, Huanggang Telecommunication Co, to donate 6,000 yuan to buy the couple a cow, increasing their herd to four.

"The merit of helping families one-on-one is that it means there's always someone who cares for them and is trying their best to help them deal with the difficulties they encounter," he added. "Officials and SOE employees should put themselves in the shoes of impoverished people."

After 19 years on the front line of China's poverty alleviation efforts, during which he has lived in nine poor villages across three counties, Liu said he has learned that the real goal is to "help people stand on their own two feet".

"The priority is to ensure everyone has enough food and clothing. Impoverished people should be motivated. They shouldn't need to wait for, rely on, or ask for help," he said.

"We can help them discover more ways to make money. Seniors who lack physical strength can raise cattle, while young people can start a business or plant high-value cash crops."

Hubei aims to eradicate poverty by the end of next year, which means Liu only has two years left of his mission.

"As long as I'm healthy, I am happy to help these villagers," he said.

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