Huang Dafa is under the highway bridge next to the village (photographed on June 16).Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Liu Xu
On the central square of Tuanjie Village (formerly Caowangba Village) in Pingzheng Gelao Township, Bozhou District, Zunyi City, Guizhou Province, a group of tourists were posing for a group photo of an old man, Huang Dafa, the former party branch secretary of Caowangba Village. It’s hard to imagine that the canal that stretches for nearly 10 kilometers on the cliff behind the mountain is actually the small old man in front of him. He led the fellow villagers to chisel and drill with a hammer, and it took 36 years to excavate and build. .
The gurgling water in the canal has nourished the thirsty and poverty-stricken villages of generations and also tells the story of a contemporary “Foolish Father Moving Mountains”.
“I am determined to do three things for everyone: divert water, build roads, and connect electricity”
Holding an empty wooden bucket with his left hand and a water scoop in his right hand, the middle-aged man squatted on the ground, staring at a blister the size of a pot beside him… In the Dafaqu Party Education Exhibition Hall, a statue named “Water is as expensive as oil” The sculpture vividly restored the hard life of the people in Caowangba Village.
For a long time, people and animals in the village have counted on a small well filled with yellow sand for drinking water, and the crops in the ground rely on “seeing the sky to harvest.” Huang Dafa, who was born in 1935, has the deepest memory of his mother, that he stood by the water tank and told him not to waste water again and again.
When he grew up eating Baijiafan, Huang Dafa expressed his gratitude to the folks, and gradually developed a simple and firm belief: we must let everyone drink clean water and eat white rice. In 1958, Huang Dafa was elected as the captain of the Caowangba Brigade, and he joined the Communist Party of China in the following year. “Since then, I have determined to do three things for everyone: divert water, build roads, and connect electricity.”
After several visits and investigations, he focused on a small river flowing from a neighboring village. Although it is only a few kilometers away from the water source, there are thousands of meters of high mountains and cliffs between the two villages. The only way to make this clear spring flow continuously into Caowangba Village is to open mountains and repair canals.
“The water in the Caowang Dam is to be replaced by life. As long as the water is brought in, rice can be planted in the ground, and we can eat rice.” Huang Dafa mobilized hundreds of villagers to carry steel drills and hammers on their backs. , Plunged into the depths of the mountain…
“My dream is to build my hometown well”
Excavation and construction of this canal involves three major mountains, three cliffs, and three dangerous cliffs. In the blink of an eye, after more than 20 years, little change has occurred in Caowangba Village, and the villagers’ lives are still poor.
“Secretary Huang, is the rice delicious, or is your Caowangba rice-packed rice delicious?” When I went to a town-wide meeting once, a cadre saw Huang Dafa at lunch and casually joked. This inadvertent joke deeply hurt the middle-aged man and also aroused his fighting spirit to rebuild the canal and divert water.
Huang Dafa wanted to understand a truth: Without technology, just relying on brute force is doomed to fail. “I want to learn technology, I want to take a breath!” In 1989, 54-year-old Huang Dafa was selected as a water conservancy counselor and arranged to study as a follower at the Fengxiangxiangli Station. In the following three years, Huang Dafa devoted all his energy to learning professional water conservancy knowledge.
In 1990, Caowangba Village suffered a severe drought. Before the twelfth lunar month was over, many villagers could hardly even eat miscellaneous grains and rice. Huang Dafa couldn’t wait any longer. Wrapped in a single coat, he rushed to the county on foot for two days to apply for a drinking water project. “It was trembling with cold, but it was full of vigor, and it hurt to hold it full of calluses.” Huang Zhuwen, then deputy director of the Zunyi County Hydropower Bureau, still clearly remembers the scene today.
Finally, after professional surveying and mapping and careful planning, the Caowangba water conservancy project was approved. The county and township governments allocated 60,000 yuan and 380,000 catties of corn from the financial constraints at the time. According to the policy at the time, the villagers had to invest in labor and raise part of their funds. Counting it down, the whole village has to make up another 13,000 yuan.
Huang Dafa convened a village meeting to mobilize all households to collect money. After more than 10 years of work failed, some villagers inevitably questioned and hesitated. He swore an oath in front of everyone and set aside 100 yuan as an example. The enthusiasm of the villagers was finally ignited again. In just three days, 13,000 yuan was collected.
On the third day of the Lunar New Year in 1992, Huang Dafa brought hundreds of people to the mountain again to repair the canal. Without a crane, he took the lead to tie his body with ropes and hung himself on the cliff to chisel rocks; he took people to walk dozens of kilometers to the town to carry the explosive materials needed for the cannon; if the shoes were worn out, he couldn’t bear to spend money to buy them. Wearing straw sandals on the construction site, blood blisters were worn out on his hands and feet… “The money in his hands was no less than 200,000 yuan, and there was no error. No wonder the whole village was willing to follow him.” 76-year-old accountant Yang Chunyou recalled .
On June 1, 1994, the 7,200-meter-long main canal was finally completed. Qinglingling water flowed into Caowangba Village. The adults held the clear spring and drank with mouthfuls. The children ran along the canal and followed the water. …
“The Communist Party members want to work for a lifetime, and my dream is to build a good hometown.” Huang Dafa said.
“Can’t lie down on the merits of the past”
After attracting running water, Huang Dafa seized the opportunity and led the masses to dig soil and build fields throughout the night. The rice field planting area increased from 240 acres to 720 acres, and the villagers finally had a good life due to drought and flood protection.
At the same time, Huang Dafa took the group to build a 4km road to the village, led people to carry the telephone poles into the village with their shoulders and hands, and tightened their belts to raise funds to build a school… water, electricity, and access roads. Huang Dafa’s three major wishes that year have become reality one by one. Over the years, Huang Dafa has successively won honors such as “Model of the Times”, “National Model of Ethics”, and “2017 Moved Chinese Figure”.
“You can’t lie down on the merits of the past. As long as you can do it, you will continue to do it.” Huang Dafa, 86 this year, insisted on going down to the field to do farm work. He took care of the two acres of land on the mountain behind the house in good order.
Inspired by Huang Dafa, caring companies stationed in the village continued to carry out assistance actions to help the village turn the “Dafa Canal” into a popular tourist attraction. Nowadays, wooden plank roads have been built on the side of the channel, and farmhouses and homestays have been opened in the village one after another. In addition to growing rice, Huang Dafa also mobilized villagers to grow yellow peaches and grapefruits, develop aquaculture, and sell specialty agricultural products through online and offline platforms.
By the end of 2020, the per capita net income of Tuanjie Village will reach 11,800 yuan, and more than 300,000 people will visit the village each year to visit and study and travel for leisure. That remote and poor village had already been lifted out of poverty and had a new look.
“When you come again next year, our village will be greatly changed!” Pointing to the elevated bridge on the top of the mountain, Huang Dafa said happily. By next year, the highway passing through the village will be opened. “At that time, Tuanjie Village will only reach Renhuai City. It takes 20 minutes, and it takes only half an hour to go to Zunyi. It is more convenient for tourists to come here, and the way out for the villagers is no longer far away!” (Reporter Wan Xiubin Cheng Huan)Return to Sohu to see more
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