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State Grid 'love supermarket' boosts rural life in Henan

By Zhuang Qiange and Pang Bo | | Updated: 2024-04-17 13:59
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Yang Kele, first secretary stationed in Sanhe village and sent by State Grid Songxian Power Supply Co in Henan province, rents an agricultural tool to a villager for free at the village Love Supermarket. [SHI YABO/For]

In the prefecture-level city of Luoyang in Central China's Henan province, Zhang Xingli — a senior citizen — is becoming well-known for serving as a sketch model for students coming to his picturesque Sanhe village in Huangzhuang town in Songxian county to draw sketches.

Dubbed an "Uncle Online Celebrity," Zhang is a favorite for the students due to his weather-beaten face engraved with traces left by years, and his gentle eyes always shining with kindness.

While the students draw sketches in the picturesque village, Zhang also offers them a resting place and free tea. When the sketches are done, the students express their gratitude and leave their names and contact information on Zhang's "Love Service Scores Card."

With the card, he can visit the village "Love Supermarket" set up by the local unit of the State Grid — the world's largest utility, which shoulders a dual task of safeguarding China's energy security as well as its economic lifeline — and exchange daily necessities there.

"I didn't expect that I would earn scores by serving a sketch model for kids and by doing some cleaning in my village, and that I can also exchange some rice, flour and peanut oil for free. It's such a pleasure!" Zhang said, beaming with delight.

Setting up a "Love Supermarket" is an innovative move taken by the State Grid to aid rural governance and help boost rural revitalization across China. Dubbed SGREP, it is also a public welfare brand and part of the State Grid Rural Empowerment Projects and Cultural Education Actions program.

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