|A new path: Ethnic Tay girls go for a walk on the concrete road to the village centre. — VNS Photo Cam Binh
by Vuong Man - Ha Nguyen
Visiting Tan Trao Village, known as the capital of the Viet Nam's revolutionary base where the National Congress (the precursor of the present National Assembly) was held, you will be astonished to see the great changes that have been ushered.
There is now an asphalt road that leads to the village centre, with colourful maize, green bean, and tomato fields, punctuated by spacious stilt houses, keeping you company on both sides of the road.
Tan Trao is recognised as one of first villages to have achieved the norms to be a new rural area last year.
In the past, the village was classified as poor and one that needed a lot of help from the government to escape hunger and poverty.
In 2012, President Truong Tan Sang and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung sponsored Tan Trao to turn it into a new rural area by mobilising relevant agencies and sectors to give a helping hand to the village.
After the renovation, Tan Trao's infrastructure came to include facilities such as a school, a health clinic, a culture house and headquarter of the village administration. All of these came to be developed along with social order and a sense of security, said Nguyen Van Hoa, chairman of Tan Trao Village.
He said Ca Hamlet, where a bustling market centre is well stocked with goods.
Vien Thi Thau, 75, said she was happy to have benefitted from such a change in her village. Now she walks along a concrete road, while earlier she used to trudge through a path that was very muddy and dusty.
"Every morning, I often take a walk along this road as part of my exercise. It is so clean and smooth and I can easily walk a distance of 10km to reach the culture house to meet my elderly fellows, read the newspapers there and exchange views with others," Thau said, adding that such favourable conditions would go a long way in improving the longevity of people like her.
Phung Van Thuy, head of Mo Che Hamlet, said, "We built our new rural area by building a concrete road, as agreed upon by the local people."
The hamlet has 60 Nung ethnic households who excitedly contributed labour and materials such as sand and stones to make the road, even as the State provided cement and pipelines, said Thuy.
The road opened a sea of opportunities for economic development, and individual households were able to enhance their income as a result. Take this simple statistic: After the road was built, the number of poor households came down from 32 in 2011 to six last year. In the past, children had to go to school on foot but once the road was laid, parents bought them bicycles and motorbikes, said Thuy.
In addition, Tan Trao is now also known to have developed its own trademarked tea. The Vinh Tan tea won the Gold Tea Bud award at the Thai Nguyen Tea Festival in 2012.
As a result, the Vinh Tan tea sales increased two and a half times compared to 2012 with price rising from VND100,000/kg to VND250,000/kg.
Villager Nguyen Thi Nua said she and her neighbours learnt how to apply the new techniques for tending the tea plantations and preventing diseases in their tea and maize fields, thus ensuring high yields.
In the past, her household harvested 200kg/per sao (each sao is about 360sq.m), compared with 300kg/sao now.
Vien Tien Thang, Party secretary of Tan Trao Village, said as part of the efforts to turn a new leaf in this rural area, they tried to educate, explain, mobilise, and convince the local people to join the programme.
"A leader plays an important role in implementing the programme, since he follows it with a passion that is heartfelt, works strongly, and brings out the creativity of his people to deliver real results," said Thang.
Over the past three years, the village has mobilised VND105.2 billion from relevant agencies, organisations and local people.
The village built 37.9km of rural road, upgraded 11 reservoirs and 12.3km of canals while ensuring that 95.9 per cent of its total households had access to national electricity, said Thang.
He said 94 per cent of the total households had access to clean and safe water while average per capita income in 2014 reached VND16.82 million, double the 2011 level.
The percentage of poor households by the end of 2014 came down to nearly 4 per cent from 38 per cent in 2011, he said.
"We are proud to be the revolutionary base of the nation where the National Congress was held in 1945. We will continue to strive for more achievements this year and the years ahead to turn our village into an even healthier and wealthier community compared to other villages," Thang said.
Leading us to Tan Trao Communal House where the Congress was held, Lanh Thi Kien, a guide for the site said the Congress was officially opened on August 16, 1945.
More than 60 representatives from the three regions - North, Centre and South - as well as sectors, nationalities, and different political parties participated.
The Congress was an event marking a historical turning point in the Viet Nam revolution to launch an uprising to win power in the quickest possible fashion so that the entire country rose up to be the master of their destiny and their nation.
Triumph of the Congress was proof of the genuine creativity of President Ho Chi Minh in applying and enforcing step by step the ideology of civil rights to win national independence and freedom.
The Congress had passed policies to resolve the national fate through the August 1945 insurrection, eliminating the old regime, placing first the legal revolutionary principles, and worked towards a new administration of the people, by the people and for the people that eventually came into being. — VNS