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The Oroqen ethnic minority (4)

(People's Daily)

16:28, August 22, 2011

New Life After the Founding of PRC

The Oroqen ethnic group was saved from extinction and a new life began to dawn for this ethnic minority in the years following the conclusion of the Anti-Japanese War in 1945. Shot-guns, cartridges and supplies of food-grain, clothes, cooking oil and salt were sent to the Oroqens by the government in the early days after the establishment of the People¡¯s Republic of China. People sent by the government helped them to raise production as well as to set up local government.

Following the inception of the Oroqen Autonomous Banner on October 1, 1951, several autonomous townships were set up in places where the Oroqens live in compact communities. By 1981, government allocation for construction in these places had already amounted to 46 million yuan. Working at leading bodies at various levels are Oroqen functionaries.

While helping the Oroqens to promote hunting, the government made efforts to help them switch over to a diversified economy and to lead a settled life.

The building of permanent housing for the Oroqens got started in 1952 with government allocations. A dozen villages were built in the Heihe Area for 300 families that used to lead a wandering life in 51 widely-scattered localities. Another three villages were built for 150 families in 1958.

Taught by Han and Daur farmers, the Oroqens began to grow crops in 1956. And by 1975, the people in the autonomous banner became self-supporting in food-grain for the first time in Oroqen history.

With no industry whatsoever in the past, the autonomous banner has now established 37 factories and workshops turning out farm machinery, electric appliances, flour, powdered milk, furniture, leather, fur and candies. The banner also has built schools, department stores, hospitals, banks and cinemas.

All school-age children are enrolled in primary and middle schools. Every year a number of youngsters enter institutions of higher learning. The Oroqen people also have their own song and dance troupes, film projection teams, broadcast stations and clubs.

Diseases took a heavy toll in the old days and 80 per cent of the women suffered from gynaecological troubles due to the lack of doctors and medicine and ignorance. They have been put under control with the help of mobile medical teams sent by the government, the launching of disease-prevention campaigns and the popularization of the knowledge of hygine. As a result the Oroqen population increased to 4,100 in 1982.

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