|Nguyễn Trọng Hát works as a radio broadcaster at the local library. —Photo thanhnien.vn
HÀ NỘI — Nguyên Xá 2 in Bắc Từ Liêm District, Hà Nội used to be a small area with narrow streets. Since it was widened thanks to land donated by local residents, households have opened businesses along the busy streets, turning the area into a bustling hub of activity.
The efforts to persuade 111 households to donate their land without compensation were led by head of Nguyên Xá 2 Residential Group, Nguyễn Trọng Hát.
The job wasn't an easy one as many households were reluctant to give up their land.
The 66-year-old persuaded locals to donate land for the road expansion to increase their profits once their shops were opened on bigger roads.
The village’s road covering 1km which used to be 3m wide has been expanded to 5.5m.
Most households agreed to hand over 10sq.m of land. One household gave 30sq.m.
Since the road was widened, more shops have been opened along the road, leaving the market inside the village less busy.
Hát also turned the market into a free gymnastics room where local people can do physical exercises with a table tennis table, running machines and cycling machines.
“Investment in the equipment is donated or comes from leasing market booths facing the busy road.
“Each day there are about 50 to 60 people coming to train,” he told Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper.
Hát also turned two illegal garbage dumps in the village into children’s playgrounds and donated books to establish a library at the local cultural house.
The library has more than 2,000 books, among which, 500 to 600 are from his house and 200 books are newly bought by him.
“The books I bought cost nearly VNĐ10 million (US$435) which is equal to my salary over two months. But there's no price on bringing knowledge to public.”
At the library, Hát became a local radio broadcaster initiated to broadcast news and State policies to the public.
Searching for martyrs’ remains
Before working as a head of residential area, in his 20s, Hát was a solider at battlefields in the central provinces of Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế where many of his fallen comrades' bodies have yet to be found.
In 2006, while working as a director of a factory under Post and Telecommunications Investment and Construction Company, he left his job and embarked on a journey to search for remains of his fellow soldiers.
In more than 12 years, on 24 trips mostly funded by himself, he walked into deep forests, found and brought home 16 sets of remains.
Now at the moment, due to oldness and illness, Hát has to abandon the work. For him, his "dedication while working as a head of residential group has been recognised by the trust and affection of local people," he told Thanh Niên.
He was honoured to be among 10 most outstanding Hà Nội citizens in 2016 and 2017 for his contributions. — VNS