|Zhu Shigu’s two grandsons, Zhu Cong (R) and Zhu Zhi (L) watch TV in their old home. Because most families have moved out of the rural shantytown, children left behind had few activities for fun besides watching TV. Photo was taken on Aug. 29, 2013. (Xinhua/ Zhou Mi)|
Zhu Shigu, 63, was one of the only few residents in shantytown of Jianhua Farm in Jiangxi’s Gao'an city, located in rural mountainous area. Before retirement, Zhu’s income from farming was a few thousand yuan. After Zhu’s son migrated to work in cities, the family’s income gradually increased.
However, the family still had to live in their old home in the shantytown. Since many residents have moved out of the town, the hospital and primary school nearby has closed. Zhu’s two grandsons had to study in a school more than 30 kilometers away from home and live in a rent near their school. Two grandsons would visit Zhu when they were on vacation.
In the shantytown transformation project, Zhu took out 80,000 yuan from his savings to purchase a new 90-square-meter apartment. He was given 15,000 yuan of governmental subsidies. The price of the transformed project is much cheaper than commodity houses. Zhu spent the last summer in the shantytown.
All the old buildings, peeling walls, straw hat and farming tools as well as the fish in the pool became memories. Zhu said that he would live on his pension of nearly 20,000 yuan every year after he moved to the new apartment. He said, “I will retire from farming and live a city life completely.”
Nearly one thousand employees of Hualin Farm have moved to new apartments since the shantytown transform project was carried out in 2011. The original farm and shantytown would be turned into a tourism spot with good eco-environmental resources and beautiful sceneries.