China Focus: China strives to ensure employment for people with disabilities
GUIYANG, May 15 (Xinhua) -- After finishing breakfast at the canteen of Junhua Shoe Factory in Xishui County, southwest China's Guizhou Province, Feng Zhilin, 39, arrived at the workshop to start his day.
When he was just a child, he was sadly diagnosed with a deformity in his spinal column, causing him to hunch over. In the past, he made a living by raising sheep and farming in his hometown, earning a meager income.
"I raised several sheep back then. But I couldn't catch up with them if they ran away," he said.
Things took a turn for the better in 2017, when Feng attended employment training for the disabled organized by the local disabled persons' federation. In 2018, the shoe factory was put into operation, and he was recommended to work there by the local government.
With a monthly income of about 3,000 yuan (about 440 U.S. dollars), Feng not only improved his family's living conditions, but was also able to pay for his younger brother's college tuition fees and living costs.
The factory has 123 employees with disabilities. In order to make their lives and work easier, accessible facilities have been installed across the factory.
There are 85 million disabled people in China. Thanks to concerted efforts by various departments, their employment channels have greatly expanded, and multiple forms of employment for disabled people have taken shape.
According to a three-year plan issued by the central government, 1 million new jobs for persons with disabilities in urban and rural areas will be created between 2022 and 2024.
In 2021, Guizhou, which has lifted the largest number of people out of poverty in China, set up 34 provincial-level rural revitalization bases for the disabled, creating more than 12,000 jobs for the group.
In a livestock farm in Shiqian County of Guizhou, Huang Guangquan was busy blending forage for cattle.
Huang suffers from visual impairment. In 2015, he participated in a local training session and became interested in raising cattle. He and his wife started the business with 130,000 yuan by borrowing money from relatives and friends, and applying for government-supported loans.
In 2016, Huang earned 50,000 yuan. In 2017, he invested more than 300,000 yuan to expand the scale, setting up standardized cattle sheds and purchasing forage processing equipment.
This year, Huang's farm has sold 60 cattle, with a value of more than 1 million yuan. He said an estimated 100 cattle would be sold throughout the year, with an output value of more than 1.8 million yuan.
In order to increase the income of the disabled in the village, he hired six disabled people to work in the farm, with an average monthly salary of 2,100 yuan per person.
"I have the obligation and responsibility to help more disabled people to have better living conditions," Huang said.
Official data show that from 2016 to 2020, 7.1 million disabled people in rural areas in China were lifted out of poverty, and more than 1.8 million disabled people were newly employed in urban and rural areas. Each year, an average of 400,000 disabled people participated in government-subsidized vocational training programs.