Disabled farmer herds cattle on hands and one leg, yet out-earns fellow villagers

Hard work, rather than waiting for state handouts, is the secret for 47-year-old as he crawls around the mountains

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2018, 5:27pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2018, 5:27pm

A disabled man’s gritty self-reliance in raising cows for a living in southwestern China has won admiration and made him a role model in his village.

Wang Zhaoquan has been raising cows over the past seven years, making his way over mountains and rivers daily using his hands and one foot, Chinese photo news site One Day, One News reported on Sunday.

Last year he earned 20,000 yuan (US$3,170) from selling the livestock, much more than most of his fellow villagers in Yinjiang Miao and Tu Ethnic Autonomous County in Guizhou province, according to the report.

The 47-year-old farmer cannot walk because he lost the use of his left foot after contracting polio at the age of six.

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Every morning, he crawls to herd cows using his hands and right foot. When climbing on the mountain, he holds a piece of curved wood that he made, and a piece of rubber pad to protect his hands and speed up his movement.

Despite his disability, Wang said he cannot rely solely on the government. Instead, he said, he should work hard to support himself.

“There are many preferential policies for us disabled people, but we cannot wait [for help from the government] – we should work harder to make more money,” Wang was quoted as saying.

Wang began to raise cows in 2011, buying four, before expanding with the help of low-interest loans from the government.

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He also qualified for a local poverty relief programme, through which he received 310 yuan (US$42) per month from the government to supplement his livelihood.

But Wang, who lives alone and has only a primary school education, was able to write to the village authority with the help of his younger brother, informing the government that it should cancel his poverty relief payments because his income had exceeded the local poverty threshold of 3,400 yuan (US$539) per year.

Wang said he would like to build a cattle raising cooperative so that he can help other villagers to increase their wealth.