China Focus: "Four auspicious seasons" -- A Tibetan village aiming to overcome poverty
LHASA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- On December 15th 2016, newly built Sijijixiang Village, which translated as "four auspicious seasons," in the regional capital Lhasa welcomed its first residents from different areas of Tibet Autonomous Region.
As implied by the village name, some 1,310 villagers from 285 impoverished families, are expected to be lifted out of poverty by the end of the year.
Tibetan couple Nyima and Ani moved to the village nearly a year ago with their daughter.
Employed as a gardener in a nearby industrial park, Nyima, 55, is satisfied with his new job. He earns 3,000 yuan (455 U.S. dollars) a month growing lilies and tulips, more than his previous annual income toiling in fields in Nyemo County.
"I enjoy the work and feel happy when I look at the beautiful flowers," said Nyima, who has a couple of his lilies on display in his living room.
Ani, 54, was taught how to knit by her foster mother nearly thirty years ago. She is now working on a new rug for the home.
Since their relocation last year, Ani has earned about 5,000 yuan from her knitting and was even invited to teach in another county for 200 yuan a day. These opportunities have shown her that her skills are valuable and encouraged her to take an active part in the village's knitting group.
Neighbors Gyalo, 53, and Tsedrup, 43, opened a store called "Potato Sisters" in the village selling homemade potato chips. They made 4,000 yuan in the first month alone.
"I was a farmer before I moved here, and my income then is incomparable to what I make now," said Tsedrup.
Gyalo earned 7,000 yuan during the past months growing grapes, roses and other organic crops. But the short-term employment did not help her family's circumstances.
Gyalo and Tsedrup decided to open the store in the village to help both of their families. They started growing potatoes in May, and by September had reaped a harvest of about 900 kilograms.
"I am very glad that Tsedrup and I became neighbors. We are going to expand our shop in the future," said Gyalo.
The total investment in Sijijixiang has reached 143 million yuan. The village is located near transport infrastructure and surrounded by a number of projects, such as a medical base, a dairy farm, and an organic fertilizer plant.
"The total investment in the plant nursery has reached 1.3 billion yuan," said Sonam Yangkyi, a village official. To date, 456 villagers have received training in skills such as driving vehicles and knitting, etc.
According to statistics, in the past five years, the number of the impoverished residents in Tibet has dropped from 1.17 million to 590,000.