by Van Dat
Girl with disability learns to draw with her feet
Huynh Thi Thanh's entire world is her small house where she lives with her mother. For much of the time, she stays on the floor, crawling as best as she can from one spot to another.
The 24-year-old native of Thua Thien - Hue province, who was born with deformed arms and legs, has to rely on her mother to take care of her. She has a wheelchair but rarely goes outside.
But even with her restricted knowledge of the world around her, Thanh was determined to learn how to draw with her feet.
Huynh Thi Lien, her mother, says the drawings are done out of love and passion. They have never been sold.
After the war, Lien and her husband had four children, but three of them died two months after birth. Thanh is the only survivor.
Lien says that her daughter was exposed to Agent Orange, which had also affected her other children.
Thanh's positive attitude and her determination to draw have made her mother proud. Lien says that at first Thanh's lines were just scrawls, but then they began to take shape.
"It's unbelievable to see her drawing with her feet. Even drawing with one's hands is a challenge," Lien says.
Local farmer invents machines to cut labour costs
Vo Van Phuoc, a Dong Thap Province native, has never studied engineering. Despite his lack of formal training, the farmer has created several pieces of agricultural machinery that have eased the physical burden of farmhands and saved labour costs.
A resident of Tam Nong District's Phu Duc Commune, Phuoc recently made an unmanned irrigation-canal dredging machine after visiting scrap warehouses to seek parts and spending a week at his friend's workshop.
Initially, the machine could operate on only 15m. After several sleepless nights, Phuoc thought of a solution to prevent soil from getting stuck on the machine.
To cut labour costs, he continued to improve the machine, which can now dredge a 1,000-m canal within an hour. If the same work were done manually, it would require 40 workers.
Phuoc has also invented a pesticide-spraying machine that takes the place of seven workers. In three hours, the machine can spray four hectares of rice paddy.
Vo Van Dat, chairman of Phu Duc Commune's People's Committee, says that Phuoc has invented a number of machines that have helped farmers.
"Every day, he spends most of his time creating machines for farming," Dat says. — VNS