Farmer recalls day he was finally a free man
pastures, 110,000 head of livestock and more than 60,000 serfs.
Redistribution of land and other means of production was the major item on the reform agenda.
“My family, with 11 members, which had no possessions before the reform, was allocated around one hectare of land, a horse, two donkeys and a cow when the village was the first to stage democratic reform,” Dundron said.
In July of the same year, 443 villagers formed a farmers’ association and, for the first time in their lives, elected the head of the organization.
Nyima Tsering, 72, recounted the voting process.
“Villagers could barely read or write at that time. A bowl was put behind every candidate and each villager was given a pea. Villagers put the pea into the bowl for the candidate they supported,” Tsering said.
Tsering said he got around 390 peas and was elected as the association’s head.
On Dec 2, 1959, a Party committee was set up in the village, the first of its kind in Tibet.
Jobs undertaken by villagers nowadays are diversified. Dundron’s son is a self-employed driver, providing long-distance transportation for his clients. Other households are involved in a wide range of professions, including plantations, retail businesses and restaurants.
The progress achieved in Kesong village is an example of the democratic reform across the whole area.
Data help to illustrate the improvements in Tibet. The average life expectancy has almost doubled in the past 50 years, from 35.5 years to 68 years. The region’sGDPsoared from 327 million yuan ($51.4 million) in 1965 to 92.08 billion yuan last year, a 281-fold increase. GDP has grown at an annual rate of 12.4 percent on average since 1994, registering double-digit growth for 20 consecutive years.