|Videos||• Latest||• Feature||• Sports||• Your Videos|
For many years, Yang Shanzhou was the local party secretary in a remote, mountainous village in southwest China's Yunnan Province. Despite an offer to take up a comfortable retirement in the city, he decided to move even further into the mountains, and dedicate himself to greening the land. He passed away in 2010, but his story lives on.
The 62 year old turned down the easy option of a retired life in a big city, and decided to return to his home town in Daliang Mountain, to bring green back to the barren hills. [Xinhua]
A blanket of green - And it all started with a surprising decision made by Yang Shanzhou back in 1988.
The 62 year old turned down the easy option of a retired life in a big city, and decided to return to his home town in Daliang Mountain, to bring green back to the barren hills.
Yang believed planting trees was the first step to bringing wealth to the local area. Along with fifteen other people, Yang settled down deep in the mountains and began to work on his plan.
It was a life that was harder than most people could ever imagine.
Zi Xuehong, head of Daliang Mountain Forestry Station, said, "This used to be his desk. And this is where he slept. We all had no beds. We used grass as a mattress."
For ten years, Yang lived in this shed, with no roads, and no electricity.
Su Jiaxiang, Yang Shanzhou's secretary, said, "I went to visit him several times. He didn't even have decent shoes and it was very cold at night. I just couldn't bear to see him live like that. He was almost seventy!"
Harsh conditions and hard work left him with severe rheumatism. When he was seventy-two years old, Yang slipped and fractured his left leg. But after just six months of rest, he climbed up mountains once again, supported by walking stick.
Despite being proud of his efforts, Yang faced the constant dilemma of work and care of his family. In 2005, his wife was hospitalized. Yang stayed at her bedside for two weeks. When his children asked him to rest, he said he just wanted to take care of his family.
Zhang Yuzhen, Yang Shanzhou's wife, said, "He was a very honest man, very down-to-earth."
In 2010, Yang Shanzhou passed away. He was buried in Daliang Mountain, according to his will. More than twenty years have passed since he first began his mission in the mountains.
The hills are now blanketed with lush trees; the barren land is fertile. By planting trees, Yang Shanzhou also planted hope. This hidden hero left his local community with a priceless legacy.