BEIJING, March 13 -- Amillionaire who donates part of his fortune to benefit society deserves respect, but one who devotes his time and puts his heart into helping poor villagers is even more worthy of our honor, if not our love.
Liu Shusheng, an entrepreneur in Chongqing, is such a noble man.
Already a millionaire in his fifties, Liu volunteered last March to work as an official in Guihua Village, an impoverished hamlet in Chongqing. He promised to help rid the village of poverty and make it rich within five years.
He began by mapping a practical development plan for Guihua Village. He first concentrated on improving basic living conditions.
By now, he has invested more than three million yuan (388,000 U.S. dollars) in infrastructure, which has improved material life, as well as people's way of thinking.
Liu introduced radio and TV so that farmers are better informed, especially about new agriculture policies and advanced agriculture technologies, according to a report by Xinhua news agency this month.
Generally, when speaking of "establishing the new socialist countryside," people think of providing more subsidies to farmers. True, the countryside is poor and in desperate need of money. But money alone is not enough. The countryside also desperately needs experienced leaders. Private entrepreneurs like Liu Shusheng are ideal. They are able to bring much more resources than capital.
In Liu's words, "the key is to reinvent the concept of 'farmers' to find a better way to develop the area." That's what he is doing.
Liu did not do all this from a whim. Rather, he took a "mature decision," he said.
As a beneficiary of reform and opening up, Liu has been grateful to the government and feels obligated to shoulder more social responsibility. So he decided to "give back" by helping the countryside.
Regrettably, few successful entrepreneurs today have the same public spirit as Liu. Many successful businessmen tend to think they owe nothing to society.
But how could they have succeeded without the government's ensuring a stable and open economic environment?
At a time when huge urban-rural income disparity threatens the harmonious development of society, successful businessmen should contribute to rural welfare. This will benefit not only farmers but businessmen themselves.
(Source: Shanghai Daily)