The remit of the Supervision and Administration Department of the Tibet Autonomous Region Tourism Commission, according to the Deployment Arrangement Department of the Regional Tourism Precision Poverty Alleviation Mobilization meeting, was to help alleviate poverty in the poorest areas of Tibet. To enable this, hundreds of different enterprises across the region helped out with poverty alleviation efforts in different areas of the TAR.
In order to thoroughly implement the spirit of the series of instructions of the Party Committee and the Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region on poverty alleviation, from September 1 to November 12, the Tibetan-owned travel agency, Explore Tibet, implemented much needed assistance for the Chedesol Neighborhood Committee in Gonggar County, Shannan City.
The target task of the local Chedesol Neighborhood Committee was poverty alleviation for this small local community of 41 households, which contain a total of 146 people. This included the implementing of special actions of help from Tibetan businesses. The general population of this small local community includes a number of elderly people, some of whom are well over 80 years old, which accounts for around a quarter of the total population of the village. The village also has around 9 residents that are disabled, some severely, which means they are unable to work and live in poverty.
The aim of the committee was to adopt project developments, resettlement employment, and donation assistance, which would help the poverty alleviation program to reduce poverty in the area within a time-span of around three years.
Chedesol has a large number of residents that are poverty stricken, with very limited incomes and with most families living well below the poverty line. One of the aims of the committee was to increase their additional income, and to aid with this, we allocated around 3,000 yuan to related improvement plans for the processing plant for barley flour. The old barley processing station, a mill where local people could grind the local highland barley into flour for tsampa and other uses, had never been modified from its original manual grinding process. Now, thanks to the efforts of our team, the grinding process has been completely automated, using electric motors and a modern press box system. Now the poor households in Chedesol can head to the processing plant to grind their barley completely free of charge, which is more convenient and can save a lot of money for each family every year.
In order to improve the daily lives of the 41 poor households in the village, we also donated a working butter tea machine, quilts, blankets, two sacks of pearl rice, and two blocks of black brick tea to each of the 41 poorer households in the village to help improve their quality of life. The total cost of this was around 36,000 yuan, and this donation is set to aid these poorer households to attain a better quality of living and aid them during the transition to earning a higher income from the other projects in place.
At the beginning of September 2018, our team of legal representatives visited Chedesol to discuss the poverty stricken families of the village with the branch representatives of the committee. After discussing the long-term needs of the village and the difficulties faced by the households a plan was implemented to expand the Ancient Town Rural Tourism Project following the completion of the current ongoing work on the reconstruction of the Chedesol Ancient Town. We also agreed to help train the poorer households in the village to be able to participate in the tourism activities once the Ancient Town was completed and expanded. Also, an agreement was reached whereby we would help with increasing the production of tourist-related products, increasing the employment rate of the poorer households to increase their overall incomes and alleviate poverty within the village as quickly as possible.
After talking to the Secretary of the Chedesol Poverty Support Committee of Gonggar County, at which time we discussed the employment assistance that was most needed in the village, and it was decided that we would implement training programs for the local villagers in computing and tourism professional training, and work towards a resettlement program before April 2019. The people would then be able to better integrate into the social family of the village as soon as possible, helping them to get out of the poverty trap as quickly as possible so that they could enjoy a happy life and achieve some social value within their families and within the community.
Media and press releases
After all of this was implemented, the people of the village and our team of volunteers were interviewed by the reporters from Tibet TV, and the interviews and background location filming was shown on Tibet TV on November 16. The team was also interviewed by Shan Nanwang reporter, Zhan Yongqin, and the whole report was published on the news website for the media, at www.xzsnw.com, where it can be viewed and read.