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Carry the "one-to-one help" through to the end
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07:58, June 06, 2008

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· 8.0 Richter scale earthquake hits SW China
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Several hundred thousand earthquake relief personnel, either officers and men of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) or volunteers in general, will pull out of the quake areas sooner or later as aftershooks have subsided or quelled. Faced by ruins around, injured quake victims have not fully recovered physically with their pains at heart yet to be healed. In such a difficult situation, people may ask will rescuers and relief workers stay on?

As soon as the severe quake jolted Wenchuan county in Sichuan province, southwest China, on May 12, a loving care shown by people nationwide was erupted as a deluge with money and blood donations and other voluntary actions poured into the quake areas. With the passage of time, however, people will no longer feel stirred or heart-throbbing. Then, they may ask in what way can the loving care of the whole nation be transferred to the ensuring and everlasting actions of affection?

More than 10 million people have been affected by the devastating quake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale and the total area of the hard-hit regions has reached 100,000 square kilometers. To cope with such damages caused by the tremor, it is far from enough to rely on the strength of the government alone to heal wounds, resume production and rebuild their homes. Then, people may ask in what proper or appropriate way can they gather the strength of families in society at large?

Then, I would like to propose why shouldn't we carry the "one-to-one help" effort through to the end?

The Ministry of Civil Affairs on May 22 informed Beijing and 20 other provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions that they were each urged to care for and help a seriously quake-hit county or city at the county level. For instance, Beijing versus Shifang, Shanghai versus Doujiangyan, Guangdong province versus Wenchuan and Shandong province versus Beichuan. This is the "one-to-one help" at the top level, and it is actually the "one province-to-one county help."

Then, can such a framework of "one-to-one help" at the top layer be extended downward? In other words, these 21 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions should relegate their assignments to their districts, counties and large enterprises, and enable each of them to help a town or a township, and a village or a school. This represents "one-to-one help" scheme at the second layer, which means "a big-collective to a small-collective help."

As the "one-to-one help" at the third layer, the districts and counties, big enterprises and institutions on their part call on their residents or citizens or employees or functionaries under their jurisdiction to sign for the participation in such activity and the latter will in turn be assigned to care for and aid the concrete objects of the "one-to-one help." In fact, it is quite possible for several households to help one specific family in the quake-hit area. Thus, the vertical, three-layer "one-to-one help" effort can assure the connection or "link-up" between helpers and aid recipients in an all-round way from the macro to micro layers.

Such a long-term "one-to-one help" relief setup has the following great advantages: It produces an enduring effect, and a relief team can function or operate for years and even a dozen years. And so it is favorable for the good order and coordination for the relief endeavor and the rational distribution of aid resources. The work of organizing the relief work is very complicated for a quake area of 100,000 sq km.

With the "one-to-one help" effort to be unfolded at these three levels, the work will be made much more distinct, simpler and even much faster. For example, in view of how senior and junior middle schools that have to be rebuilt in Shifang city, Beijing municipal authorities will entrust some big enterprises with the task of providing the hardware for the purpose, and assign the mission of assigning teachers and other related resources to key middle schools in the national capital. Likewise, Beijing urbanites involved in the "one-to-one help" will likewise help and aid those quake affected familes in Shifang with an acute shortage of clothing and home furniture. So, such kind of aid is more scientific, more economical and more effective.

This "one-to-one help" endeavor opens up an avenue for a long-term assistance to quake areas. After contributing their money and blood donations, "what else can I do for the quake areas," as we often hear some people say. With the institution of the "one-to-one help", you can still do a lot and do it for a relatively long period of time for quake victims. The people's concern and throbbing blood at the outbreak of the quake will be cohered or condensed into a heavy sense of responsibility and the enduring, tenacious actions of affection for the quake victims.

By People's Daily Online and its author is senior PD desk editor Jiang Shangyu.

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