Earning money and dignity online
Ahmat Gopur lost his legs in a car accident in 2012.
As a cotton farmer, the 36-year-old from Daxi village, Yuli county, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, made 40,000 ($5,800) to 50,000 yuan a year, but the accident stripped him of everything.
In 2014, desperate to make his own living, he started learning how to use a computer. The training provided him with the skills to set up an online store in August, selling dried fruits and nuts.
“My life was in ruins before I started my online business,” he said. “I make 2,000 to 4,000 yuan a month, not as much as I made before, but better than nothing,” he said. “For a disabled person, having a stable income means being independent and having a decent life.”
Because adults with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty, Daxi village’s e-commerce service center provides preferential treatment for people in Gopur’s situation.
He manages his store from an office built and provided by the center, and although he sometimes needs help reading Chinese, his language skills are improving through frequent contact with his customers.
The office provides a base for 10 disabled internet entrepreneurs. Because they have mobility problems, delivery teams visit the office to pick up their products — another preferential service.
One of Gopur’s peers, Zhou Yuexia, had polio as a child. Since the 46-year-old opened an online store in January, she has made about 3,000 yuan a month. “The service center provides us with a free office, computers, technology training and subsidies,” she said.
After her store made 3,000 yuan in its first month
For a disabled person, having a stable income means being independent and having a decent life.” Ahmat Gopur, an online store owner in Yuli county, Xinjiang, who was a cotton farmer before he lost his legs in a car accident monthly income of Zhou Yuexia, an online store owner in Daxi village, Yuli
of business, Zhou took her 11-year-old daughter to eat hotpot, a rare luxury for the family.
Zhou used to work as a nurse at a local hospital, but one day, a patient refused to be treated by her because of her condition. “He made fun of me and then imitated the way I walk,” she said. “Not long after that, I quit.”
Later, she tried a number of small business ideas, including selling fried chicken on the street.
“However, my disability always haunted me. I couldn’t bear the way people looked at my legs,” she said. “The online store has solved my problem; I’ve not only earned money, but also dignity.”