Farmer re­calls day he was fi­nally a free man

China Daily (Canada) - - TIBET -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.