"I'm so happy now and I'd like to live to be 100 years old," said Li Maixiu, a granny aged 85. During a recent interview with Yunnan Daily reporters, Li said this at her new home in southwest Yunnan's Shidian County.
Li moved to her new home in July 2019, when a resettlement site for impoverished local Bulang and Yi ethnic folks was built up and the granny was escorted from the old house to the new site by members of the villagers' committee.
Sitting on the sedan happily that day, Li also recalled her marriage, lamenting on her missing a bridal sedan chair. Li Maixiu used to live a hard life. And when she got married, she just walked all the way to her husband𠏋 plain cottage, with the only dowry being two traditional Bulang costumes.
Now Li Maixiu and her family members are living in a two-story new house, which is linked up by new roads. Through farming and animal husbandry, her family has an annual income of over 30,000 yuan. With her grand children either working or schooling, Li looks forward to a better future.
Dranny Li said she could have imagined living such a happy life back to a few years ago, but the subsequent great changes brought by poverty-alleviation projects did make her dream come true. And China Tobacco Yunnan Industrial Company has financed most of the projects for the 36 poor families in Longtang village since May 2015.
In another village of Deaiwu in Shidian county, the Yunnan tobacco company held the impoverished ethnic folks escape from poverty through fruit plantation and rural tourism, in addition to building up new houses. "We will not only have new homes but also green industries," said Li ZhengWen, a Bulang villager.
Deaiwu is a typical mountainous village. In the past, it had no asphalt roads and villagers couldn't go out in the rainy days. What's more, most homes were built near the risky landslide areas.
Given the thriving anises planting and chicken breeding in the village now, a special dish called chicken with anise has been created by local for tourists from a far. Zhang Meiyun, another villager, said her family has lived in the new house for 3 years and by running a home-stay inn they gained an extra income of 8,000 yuan per year.