Clearing Snow from Public Roads for 17 Years Touches Local People
(Minghui.org) I live in a remote village in Northeast China. The roads to the nearby villages are hilly and some are very steep, making them dangerous. This is particularly problematic when it snows; accidents are frequent. Buses stop running on snowy days, inconveniencing the locals. This remained a problem for years and the local government did not do anything about it.
Falun Gong practitioners in my village gathered to discuss the problem. As practitioners who follow Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, we all agreed that we needed to think of others first and that we should solve this road safety issue.
The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong was at its peak, and local practitioners were often arrested. We shared that, although our safety would be compromised, we should let go of our fear and solve the issue in a dignified manner.
When it snowed, we cleaned the snow on a local public road at an agreed time. Some shoveled snow and others used brooms. A big layer of ice had formed on the road because the snow was not cleared away in time, and vehicles had driven over it, compressing it into a thick sheet of ice. We had to crack the ice as we dug and remove it piece by piece.
It took us half a day to clear the road. It is very cold and windy in Northeast China in the winter, especially after it snows. We did not quit. For 17 years, starting in 2000, we have cleared the road whenever it snows, even if it was Chinese New Year's Day or another important festival.
During the first few years, we just cleaned part of the local public road. Later we covered six roads spanning two villages. As the workload increased, we spent more time on the task. Some roads were not cleared in time. We bought a truckload of coal ash for a few hundred yuan (about $30) to spread on the roads to prevent cars from slipping. When it snowed more, we bought more coal ash.
Passersby were initially curious when we started clearing the snow and asked, “How much do you earn in a day?” One of us told them, “We are Falun Gong practitioners. We volunteer to do this work to clear the road for the public.” The locals started to realize that we were volunteering so that the roads would be safe.
Some people driving by honked to express their appreciation. Some passersby greeted us by nodding or waving. Some gave us a thumbs ups. Some drivers brought us soft drinks, fruit, or bread. We did not accept the goods, but the drivers just left them there and then drove off. The driver of the local bus line said, “I will not allow it if anyone badmouths Falun Gong.”
Many passersby had similar comments, “You are outstanding. You serve the public with your own money. Doing this once or twice might be fine for some people, but you have kept doing this for so many years. No one else would be able to do that like you.”
A senior villager said, “If everyone was like you, there would be no need for police.” A village administrator said, “Everyone in our village knows Falun Gong is good.”