Phạm Ngọc Chiêng, a 73-year-old man in central Thanh Hóa Province's Dân Lực Commune, rides his motorbike to remote areas to spread information about the elections for the 15th National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels. VNA/VNS Photo
THANH HÓA - Phạm Ngọc Chiêng, a 73-year-old man in a rural area in central Thanh Hóa Province, has been very busy in recent days.
Each day, he gets up at 4.30am, has a quick breakfast and jumps on his old motorbike to start a new working day. On the motorbike, he carries a big loudspeaker and two banners about the election day on Sunday.
He travels to rural areas about 50 kilometres away from his home in Triệu Sơn District's Dân Lực Commune. During his trip, Chiêng uses the loudspeaker with his warm and clear voice to spread information about the upcoming election day.
"People usually go to the fields very early to avoid the sunny weather, so I have to leave home early so that I can catch up with them, talk to them about the election day, introduce candidates to them and encourage them to cast their ballots, especially those in remote and ethnic minority-inhabited areas, " he said.
Chiêng knows how to get people's attention. When he arrives in a village, he starts his job with a song with a fast and happy melody and then plays a recorded speech with the brief biography of candidates for the 15th National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels.
"The more they (people) live far from central areas of the district and find it hard to access information about the election day, the more I am determined to go and tell them about it. I want them to understand the meaning of the election, and have their voice by casting ballots," he said.
Chiêng is not new to this job. He has been riding his motorbike with a loudspeaker spreading the word about the Party and State's policies for nearly 20 years. Local people are quite familiar with his warm, slow but clear voice from the loudspeaker on the old motorbike.
To ensure he spreads brief, easy-to-understand content, Chiêng said he did not miss any news. Every month he contacted the district's Cultural Information Centre to get updated on the latest policies of the Party and State. He later summarises and makes them short and simple so everyone can understand and remember them easily.
Traffic safety, food hygiene and safety, the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine programmes, and election day are some of the most engaging topics. Many people living in remote areas know about the prevention of COVID-19 pandemic measures via the messages of the Ministry of Health.
Nguyễn Ngọc Quang, chairman of Dân Lực Commune's People's Committee, said Chiêng had voluntarily done the job for 20 years and never asked for anything. His traditional dissemination methods had greatly aided communication work in far-flung and ethnic minority areas.
Chiêng has been awarded certificates from the Ministry of Transport and the provincial and communal People's Committees for his activities. Triệu Sơn District authority has given him VNĐ24.5 million ($1,061) to get a new loudspeaker and the provincial Police Department has given him a new motorbike so he can travel safely. VNS