Across China: Visually impaired businessman lights up life of disabled
TIANJIN, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Blurred vision doesn't stop Cai Cheng from lighting up the life of disabled people.
"I have a beautiful dream to venture out into the world. Despite wind and rain, I'll keep going, going."
Cai plays guitar and sings his self-written songs with his company employees in his spare time.
Seven years ago, the 28-year-old visually impaired started a domestic services company. It now has 35 employees, one-third of whom are either disabled or related to someone disabled. Nearly 1,000 disabled families are its clients.
Cai's fate was changed due to optic neuritis when he was 10 years old. "It seemed like the sky was falling down," said Wang Zhiping, Cai's mother.
Visual impairment made it impossible for him to stay in his public primary school. Two years later, he was transferred to a special school for the blind.
At this special school, he was taught the skills of traditional Chinese massage, a common job for many blind people in China.
"I didn't want to end up in this kind of life," Cai said. So he applied to Tianjin Open University and was luckily admitted by the junior college's social work program in 2010.
At college, he came up with the idea of starting a business. With the local government's funding and interest-free loans, he set up a company in 2011 and obtained a government project to offer domestic services to the community's disabled residents.
Wang, an accountant, quit her own job and became the first employee of her son's company. At that time, the biggest challenge was to find clients. She started by offering free services to win their trust.
As the company grew, Cai's first thought was to provide jobs for the disabled and their families. "I can understand the inconvenience of the disabled better than most. I wanted to do something for them," Cai said.
He Ying, 60, suffers from facial neurofibroma, her husband is paralyzed in bed, and her son is incapacitated by a serious illness.
Cai offered her a job as a domestic worker. "I can buy you chicken legs now," she told her husband after she got the first month's salary. On good days, she can make more than 5,000 yuan (780 U.S. dollars) a month.
Wang Xi, 30, lost his left leg in an accident a few years ago. After finding out he can still drive, Cai asked him to be a driver in his company.
"There are many disabled people in the company, and everyone is working for a better life," Wang said.
A better life for Cai meant starting a family. Introduced by a client, he met his wife Liu Yunli and their baby is now two years old.
"The happiest thing about our life is that I ride an electric bike and take him to work. It's really tiring but he can always find a way to amuse me." Liu said. "I feel a sense of security when I'm with him."
Cai is a person who will never be satisfied with the status quo. After years of development, he has expanded his businesses into more areas including massage, hoping to provide more jobs for the disabled. He even started a course to teach guitar to children.
"What you have achieved might be glorious, but it's in the past. If we grasp the moment now, we'll have a better future," he said.