A Public Official Who Understood that He Serves the People
(Minghui.org) At the age of 19, in the seventh year of reign of Emporer Kangxi (1668 AD), Yu Zongyao took office as the county commissioner of Changshu. What was then Changshu is today's Jiangsu Province. As county commissioner, Yu initiated reforms that put effective measures in place while ending corrupt practices.
At the time, farmers and merchants were burdened with high taxes when shipping grains through canals in the region. This had resulted in bankruptcy for many who could not afford the cost.
Yu set deadlines for officials to assume responsibility for collecting and transporting the food. He made sure that the process was transparent, which brought great convenience and prosperity to the public.
Yu also made great efforts to fight famine and plagues. He worked hard throughout the four years in office, and died in office at the age of 23.
The public closed their businesses, donated money, and made funeral arrangements to honor him.
It was customary to be taken back to one's hometown for burial. However, the words inscribed on Yu's tombstone are: “Buried in the town which he served at the request of tens of thousands of local residents.”