|Liang Lina talks with an impoverished senior. [China Women's News]|
In 2011, Liang Lina, 33, was elected as the Party chief of Luhe Village in Luchuan County, Guangxi.
Over the past seven years, Liang has been actively participating in the national poverty alleviation campaign and gained recognition from President Xi Jinping.
During Xi's inspection tour in Guangxi in last April, he held a meeting with grassroots representatives to listen to people's proposals and expectations for the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
"I was a little nervous at the beginning, because I sat opposite the president and was the first representative to speak ."
Liang reported on local conditions including the construction of the Party organization, development of competitive industries, and the leadership in poverty alleviation.
When she mentioned she had a master's degree, the president asked what her major was.
"The president said it was not easy to be grassroots Party members — he's considerate and caring," Liang said.
"He urged us not to forget we are the CPC members who should work to promote the development of the Party's great causes, no matter where we are and what posts we occupy," she added.
Xi's remarks boosted the representatives' confidence in helping impoverished villagers improve their incomes. After the meeting, they took a group photo.
Situated on the border between Guangxi and Guangdong Province, remote and mountainous, Luhe is economically backward.
In 2011, Luhe's acting Party chief said to Liang: "What a great thing it would be if you could stay to take lead in lifting locals out of poverty."
The remarks touched her deeply and she stayed. In the village's election, she was elected Party chief, earning a monthly salary of 620 yuan.
To prove her competence, Liang determined to make some achievements.
By paying home visits, she learned that there were 4,575 people in the village, 984 of whom were living in poverty, and there was no collective economy.
To change the situation, Liang conducted several investigations and finally decided to grow a traditional Chinese medicine crop and raise pigs to boost the local economy.
Now, there are a total of 500 mu (82 acres) of land being used to grow the plant. Villagers also grow over 200 mu of passion fruit, which can produce an income of 1.6 million yuan a year.
The village cooperated with some companies to sell their 2,500 pigs to the Pearl River Delta area, which is on the front line of China's reform and opening-up. Liang also made full use of e-commerce platforms to expand business.
With their efforts, the per capita net income in Luhe increased from less than 2,500 yuan in 2011 to 7,560 yuan in 2017.
After alleviating poverty for many locals, Liang decided to work to enrich their spiritual lives.
She raised a fund to build a basketball court in the village after settling land disputes. Now, the court has become a public activity center.
Liang also made efforts to develop the local collective economy while boosting locals' income.
She launched a solar power generation project and cooperated with Guangxi Juyin Group to develop ecological breeding, which can generate an income of 50,000 yuan and over 100,000 yuan a year, respectively.
In 2016, Liang was appointed as deputy head of Wushi Town, where she is mainly responsible for the area's poverty alleviation work.
In October 2018, she headed to Beijing to share experience in programs of state broadcaster CCTV (China Central Television) on poverty-alleviation.
"Poverty alleviation is tough work but it's really meaningful," Liang said. "I must seize the opportunity to promote my hometown's agricultural and sideline products."
In an interview with China Women's News, Liang said: "The president once said none should be left behind in the national poverty alleviation campaign, so I must try my best to help those still living in poverty to be better off."
"I dare not to say I will stay in the town for a lifetime, but I will spare no efforts to fulfill my duties during my term," she added.
(Source: China Women's News / Translated and edited by Women of China)