Poverty-relief relocation leads remote village in Guizhou to prosperous life

Relocated residents make Zongzi, a glutinous rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves, at the relocation site in the Baiyanglin neighborhood, Qixingguan district, Bijie, southwest China’s Guizhou province, June 23. (Photo by Chen Xi/People’s Daily Online)

By Jiang Xiaodan, People’s Daily

Last August, Yang Guangzhao and his family were relocated to a resettlement area, which finally swept his worries over population relocation.

“My family was assigned with two apartments facing each other and totaling 140 square meters, one for my parents and the other for my nuclear family of five. They are so light and spacious,” said Yang, after moving to a new community in the Baiyanglin neighborhood, Qixingguan district, Bijie, southwest China’s Guizhou province.

Before the relocation, Yang and his family lived in Datian, a remote mountainous village in Yanzikou township of Qixingguan district. The village is three hours’ walk away from the market in the township, so food supply was a headache for the villagers. Besides, it took 50 minutes for his children to go to school, and his wife had to stay at home to take care of the preschool one.

The family of seven made a meager living by planting corn and potatoes, with an annual income of less than 10,000 yuan ($1,425). The falling stones near the village caused by frequent rains made their life even harder.

“Thanks to the government’s relocation program, we are offered with new apartments and recommended to new jobs,” Yang said, who earns about 40,000 yuan each year together with his wife.

“My parents can also receive the basic old-age pension, which further relieved our economic burden,” he told People’s Daily.

Baiyanglin neighborhood is the largest relocation site for poverty alleviation in Guizhou, covering a total area of 1.13 square kilometers. A total of 29,001 people were relocated there, including 25,443 registered impoverished people.

While the task of relocating those living in inhospitable areas was completed, local authorities have managed to enable them to lead a decent life.

“When we go out to work, our parents and children at home are our largest worries,” Yang told People’s Daily. What he said indicated a common concern of many residents in the neighborhood where there are 3,437 seniors over 60 years old, 10,953 children, and 1,128 people with disability certificates. Care services in the neighborhood is in urgent demand.

A nursing center was established in the neighborhood this year under a two-million-yuan fund raised by Guangzhou government and society. It offers day-care services for seniors and children, and has a cafeteria tailored for the aged.

Following a mature operational mode of Guangzhou’ s Liwan district, the center is operated by professional social service companies, and supervised and funded by social organizations and institutions.

The center is not far from Yang’s apartments, and his septuagenarian parents visit the center every day where they sing, dance and chat. They can also have lunch at the cafeteria. It only costs three yuan to have three dishes and a soup.

With the nursing center, residents never have to worry about the care for their parents and children when they are at work. They have a stronger sense of belonging after the opening of the center, as employment, elderly care, childcare, education and medical services have all been brought to their doorsteps.

Yang’s family now leads a happier life. The couple can feel at ease to work without worrying about their parents and children as before.

“My parents are healthy and in a good mood, and my kids are taken good care of at the center, so we must work harder when we are still young,” Yang said.

Looking at the slogan on a wall of the resettlement house reading “Live in a new house at once and live a better life step by step,” Yang laughed, saying that it’s a vivid description of his family’s new life.

Children shoot hoops at the relocation site in the Baiyanglin neighborhood, Qixingguan district, Bijie, southwest China’s Guizhou province, May 31. (Photo by Chen Xi/People’s Daily Online)

An employee at a poverty alleviation workshop makes a hanging basket at the relocation site in the Baiyanglin neighborhood, Qixingguan district, Bijie, southwest China’s Guizhou province, April 25. (Photo by Wang Chunliang/People’s Daily Online)