|Xu Hui, 54, is director of a legal assistance center in Tongcheng county, Hubei province. [Photo provided to China Daily]|
Xu Hui has grown accustomed to finding vegetables and eggs — some even washed clean — hanging on her doorknob when she returns home late at night. Though the gifts do not provide clues as to who might have sent them, Xu knows they must be from one of her "clients" — generally migrant workers, people with disabilities, delinquents and their families.
Xu, 54, is director of a legal assistance center in Tongcheng county, Hubei province. She has been at the center since 1998, when it was set up by the local judicial bureau to provide legal services for the disadvantaged.
The legal adviser can barely remember how many people she's helped in the past 19 years. But the center's statistics show that in the past three years, she took on almost 190 cases and helped the disadvantaged recover over 1.6 million yuan ($246,000).
Xu had to work long hours because she was the only staffer when the center began. Then, in 2015 she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Still, she has continued to work and said she never regretted it.
Last year, Xu was elected a party delegate and attended the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing. The proposals she made at the congress were all about legal assistance.
"Policies should encourage more social forces to engage in assistance work under the government guidance," she said.
In 1979, Xu started her career in the county's power company. Two years later, she was transferred to Tongcheng's judicial bureau after taking law courses at Wuhan University. In 1998, when Tongcheng's judicial bureau set up the assistance center, Xu offered to be its head.
One case sums up her determination. In 2009, a women surnamed Wan came to Xu for help and Xu was appalled by the scars on Wan's body. Wan was expecting a second child in 1993 when her husband died suddenly.
She soon after enter into another marriage with Jiang, whom she didn't know for very long.
Jiang later sexually assaulted Wan's 8-year-old daughter and was sentenced to eight years in prison. She wanted a divorce after his prison term, but Jiang threatened to kill her family. The mother of two came to Xu. Jiang threatened Xu, as well.
Though Xu was concerned, she also was determined to help. The court ordered the divorce and Jiang stopped threatening. "People engaged in laws cannot make concessions in front of evils," she said.
"Though she has poor health, she has a strong mind," said Du Zhongguang, deputy director of Tongcheng's judicial bureau, who has been working with Xu for over 16 years. "Though she's poor by the standard of material wealth, she's rich in her spiritual world," he said.
(Source: China News Service)