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16:46 Mar 22 2010

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Sonam Wangdu: serf's new life
09:51, March 19, 2010  

"It is the preferential policy of the Central Government that has helped to improve our living standard," said Sonam Wangdu, a 63-year-old Tibetan man in Cawarong Township of Nyingchi Prefecture, southeastern Tibet.

Wangdu lives in a two-storey house with his family members, and raises herds of sheep in the yard. Cawarong Township is a remote area deep in snowy mountains in most of a year.

"Before the democratic reform was launched in Tibet in 1959, I was a son of a serf family. Old Tibet was just like the hell," Wangdu recalled,"The serf owners would rather give food to domestic animals than to us. In their eyes, the life of us serfs was less important than that of cattle and sheep."

After the reform he was distributed a house and land, and the Central Government has also been pursuing a preferential policy for the local people. He began to lead a happy life from then on.

"In order to improve transportation services, the township government has held a driving training course for us. My eldest son attended the course and became a driver later," he said,"Now he also runs a shop."

For the first time in his life he ate cookies, bread and chocolate. It was all new for him.

"Now we have a university graduate as our village head and he came here with knowledge and information," Wangdu told the Tibet Daily.

The new village head has been helping villagers build pig farms with local features and expand tourism services based on the snowy mountains such as the Meili Snow Mountain.

"I'm sure that we will certainly enjoy an increasingly prosperous life," he noted.

Source: Xinhua

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