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West China

Profile: From in debt to indestructible, an impoverished man's transformation

2018-09-03 09:19:25

YINCHUAN, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Wang Yujin, a villager from Shanghuang Village in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, is busy getting loans from local banks. He wants a loan of 300,000 yuan (44,000 U.S. dollars) to breed cattle next year.

Wang's home is located in Hechuan Township, Xihaigu, a district in southern Ningxia, which has been slated as the "most unfit place for human settlement" by the United Nations. The region is among China's driest and least developed regions.

In general, many banks will not loan out such a large sum of money to a rural resident as they might be unable to pay off the loans. However, since Wang was honored with an award for his hard work by the local government last year, it would be easier for him to get the 300,000 yuan loan.

Years ago, it was impossible for Wang to get a loan due to his bad credit.

When Wang was very young, he had no regular jobs, loved gambling and spent little time with his family. He ran a petrol station, but the business failed as he produced substandard petrol and the station was finally shut down.

He was heavily in debt and eventually blacklisted by the banks.

Villagers thought Wang was lazy and looked down on him.

"I had to leave the village and found some jobs in cities to earn money. I'd been worked in cities for around six years to pay off my debt," Wang said. He worked in the cities of Yinchuan, Guyuan and Beijing.

He returned back to the village in 2012 and started to grow chilies and breed sheep. Wang and his poverty-stricken family worked very hard to pay off his debt.

A plan to register people living below the poverty line was launched in 2013.

In 2014, Hechuan had more than 6,400 registered poor residents, including Wang and his family.

With the help of the local government's poverty alleviation efforts, banks were allowed to lend money for Wang to expand his sheep breeding. Wang earned some money and built a new house in 2015.

One year later, Wang replaced all his sheep with black goats after watching a TV commercial.

"A TV program introduced the black goat breeding industry in Shandong Province. It said that sheep meat is only 40 yuan per kg, while black goat meat is around 160 yuan per kg," said Wang, who immediately called a black goat farm in eastern Shandong Province and bought several nannies.

"Within one year, I sold more than 100 kids. Each kid was worth around 1,500 yuan," he said, adding he earned more than 100,000 yuan in 2016 and his family was removed from the impoverished household list in 2016.

Apart from goats and kids, the 47-year-old also raises dogs, chickens, ducks, pigeons and rabbits in his yard and goldfish in his house. With many houseplants, his house is clean and tidy.

He bought a harvester and employs two impoverished villagers to cut and collect the crops. Three other people in the village have started to breed goats under his guidance.

"I only sleep four hours every day. The farm work is very laborious but I feel happy and satisfied," he said.

Wang's efforts have gradually been accepted by more and more villagers and people changed their opinions about him.

Last year, 100 impoverished people in the city of Guyuan including Wang were named "outstanding villagers" based on their impressive anti-poverty experience.

"We have two standards to choose outstanding villagers. First, they should be villagers who have already escaped poverty through their own efforts. Second, they are also willing to help other poor villagers," said Ma Yandong, the Party secretary of Hechuan Township.

"Wang enjoys his life and always brings positive energy to people around him," Ma added.

Outstanding villagers are able to borrow a 50,000 yuan poverty-relief loan, with subsidized interest payments.

Wang's achievements didn't stop his ambition. He plans to breed cattle and expand his herd, as well as encourage more poor villagers to join him.

"I'm eager to borrow the 300,000 yuan from the banks, even though they offer the loans without subsidized interest. I really hope I can do something for the villagers and help them have a better life," Wang said.

He said there is only one kind of man he is not willing to give a helping hand to -- lazy people.

"I help people because I know what poverty feels like. During my most difficult times, it was extremely hard to even borrow 10 yuan from other people," he said. "Our country has so many poverty relief policies that poor people should make good use of."

More than 500,000 people lived below the poverty line in Guyuan in 2011. The figure dropped to 95,500 in 2017.

Hechuan Township has 840 impoverished people who are expected to be lifted out of poverty this year.

Editor:Jiang Yiwei