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Blind man, armless man partner up with greening efforts

(People's Daily Overseas New Media)    15:00, March 29, 2019

Jia Wenqi and Jia Haixia, the former who is blind in both eyes and latter who is a double amputee, have made their names known to the world with their touching perseverance that led them to plant trees for 14 years and turn their desolated village into a thriving green ground.

The two 60-year-old elder men from Jingxing County in northern China’s Hebei province, took social media by storm in 2016 thanks to a documentary about the pair’s tree-planting efforts. However, shortly after their rise to fame, their trees were flooded, leaving their decade-long efforts in ruin.

While the pair are rarely seen working together like before, villagers say the old men are still striving on their own planting businesses, leading their own teams respectively to cultivate more trees in different places, which they believe can also encourage more people to join their project, as well as enlarge the forest area.

Throughout 2017, Jia Wenqi planted no trees, but went to Hunan, Inner Mongolia, and other places for meetings and activities related to tree planting. He said that these experiences have broadened his horizons. The beautiful scenery in southern China and the blue sky and grassland in Inner Mongolia not only strengthened his determination to green his hometown, but also made him realize that he could not simply grow fast-growing poplar trees, but must also involve other economic forests and engage in diversified operations.

Jia Haixia, unlike his fellow, did not get distracted with other things, and insisted on growing poplar. By the autumn of 2017, more than 2,000 trees have been planted, and the survival rate is quite good. The old man said he plans to grow 4,000 more in 2019 and 2020.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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