Farmer Studies Law For 16 Years To Sue Company That Polluted His Farmland And Won The Case

The Logical Indian

February 8th, 2017

Farmer Studies Law

Source: South China Morning Post | Image Courtesy: daily mail | scmp

Persistence and willpower are probably the two greatest weapons in your arsenal that can take you far. Whether it is your goal in life or change that you want to see — it has to start with you. No matter who you are, whatever circumstances you face in life — nothing can stop you if you are determined.

A farmer in China raised the bar of willpower and persistence by winning the first round of a legal battle against a powerful state-owned chemicals corporation, after spending 16 years teaching himself about the law.

60-year-old Wang Elin from Heilongjiang, who left school in 3rd grade of primary education, spent the last 16 years to sue the state-owned Qihua Group for dumping chemical waste on his farmland that covered more than 70 acres.

The court ruled in favour of Wang and rest of the villagers, and Qihua Group that has an annual turnover around 2 Billion Yuan (1 Yuan = 9.79 INR), had to clean up the waste. For the past 16 years, the production plant dumped an average of 20,000 tonnes of chemical waste, reported South China Morning Post. According to a government report, the Qihua Group had filled a 478-acre pond around the farmland with liquid waste.

Initially, Mr. Wang had complained about the matter to the Land Resources Bureau of Qiqihar, but they had asked him to bring more evidence. Mr. Wang had to produce legal evidence, and that’s when he decided to take the matter in his hand. He began his journey of studying law. Without any funds to buy books, Mr. Wang went on a barter deal with the owner of a local bookstore. He would exchange corn for the chance of reading inside the bookstore and copy down useful information.

After 16 years of studying law, he had assembled all the necessary legal evidence to file a strong case against the Qihua. From 2007, a Chinese law firm specialised in pollution decided to offer Mr. Wang free legal advice after hearing about his case. The Angangxi District Court finally agreed to take the case in 2015. After the first hearing, the court ordered Qihua Group to get rid of the chemical waste on the land and pay compensation of a total 820,000 Yuan (approx US$ 120,000) to the 55 families involved.

Wang told South China Morning Post that the victory was most important for the principle of the farmers having stood up for their rights, as the compensation would only amount to less than 15,000 Yuan  (US$ 2180) for each family. Though the Qihua Group has appealed for the review of the ruling, Mr. Wang is confident that he will win the case.

The Logical Indian congratulates Mr. Wang for his victory. He has shown immense perseverance and determination against all the odds. He is a true inspiration.

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