Incense maker brings sweet scent of poverty relief to village

By Cao Zinan in Nyingchi, Tibet | | Updated: 2020-08-18 16:59
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Samdrup presents his Tibetan incense products in Gyalmed village, Puchu township of Nyingchi city, Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, Aug 17, 2020. [Photo by Wang Yuxi/]

Samdrup, 50, is quite the local celebrity in Gyalmed village, Puchu township of Nyingchi city, Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, as he not only left behind poverty with his hard work, but has also been helping others live better lives.

Born in Renbung county, Xigaze city in Tibet, Samdrup had been influenced by his family since he was a child and now is a skilled craftsman of exquisite Tibetan incense. Made using a variety of rare Chinese herbs in proportion, Tibetan incense has great medicinal value in modern times for its ability to purify the air and prevent diseases.

In 2005, while working in Nyingchi, he met a young woman from Gyalmed village, Puchu township, and soon the two started a family and settled down in the village.

At that time, the major income for the family came from Samdrup selling handmade Tibetan incense and sometimes working for construction sites. But two years later, his wife was suddenly stricken by heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. Her lengthy treatment and the need to raise three children turned the otherwise happy family of five into a severely impoverished household.

"Deducting the high medical expenses and other fees, my family could only have about 1,000 yuan ($144) left at the end of those years. We felt somehow desperate, and didn't know what to do," Samdrup recalled.

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