These two men make an unlikely duo, and particularly so for the type of physically demanding project they undertook more than a decade ago: planting thousands of trees in rural China.
Yet, a blind man and a double amputee have mustered the strength to overcome their physical disabilities and become each other’s eyes and hands.
Jia Haixa and Jia Wenqi launched their inspiring partnership in 2001, after their disabilities prevented the men from finding employment.
1. Blind Jia Haixa and double amputee Jia Wenqi have devised a unique way of working together.
The men created their own unique way of working together, which has enabled them to completely transform a seven-and-a-half-acre stretch of a riverbank, The People’s Daily reports.
Mr. Haixia, the blind member of the pair, said:
I am his hands. He is my eyes. We are good partners.
The 53-year-old Mr. Haixia was born with congenital cataracts, which left him blind in his left eye.
Then in 2000, the man lost the sight in his right eye in a work accident.
2. In the last 10 years, the friends have become the eyes and hands for each other in the rural village of Hebei, China.
For his part, Mr. Wenqi, also 53, lost his two arms in an accident when he was just three-years-old.
In 2001, unable to find work, the two eco-warriors leased a stretch of a river bank from the local government, with the intention of planting trees for future generations.
The pair also hoped that their project will earn them an income from government funding, as well as protect their village from flooding.
Every day, the unlikely pair leave their home at 7 am, carrying a hammer and iron rod.
Before starting their work, Mr. Wenqi carries his blind co-worker across a fast moving river.
3. Blind Mr. Haixa climbs up a tree with the help of Mr. Wenqi, so that he can find fresh cuttings to plant in the ground.
Lacking the funds needed to buy saplings, the two then have to collect cuttings.
This is no simple task for people with such disabilities and involves Mr. Haixa climbing large trees.
Without the help of his sight, Mr. Haixa is guided by his armless partner, as he pushes himself up through the branches.
Once down on solid ground, the man then makes a hole and plants the new shoot.
At this point, it is Mr. Wenqi’s job to water the saplings.
4. Mr. Wenqi carriers his blind colleagues across the river before they can begin their day’s work.
5. The inspirational pair have refused to let their individual disabilities hold them back.
Work has been painstakingly slow, but now the seven-and-a-half-acre site is covered with trees which attract flocks of birds.
In all, the pair believe they have planted 10,000 trees, since they began more than a decade ago and are not about to stop. Mr. Haixia said:
Though we did not accomplish much in a dozens years, we recognize our effort.
Mr. Wenqi added:
We stand on our own feet. The fruits of our labor taste sweeter. Even though we are gnawing on steam buns, we find peace in our hearts.
6. The pair have planted 10,000 trees together to improve the local environment and help with flood prevention.
Source: The People’s Daily.
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