Farmer Spent 16 Years Studying Law To Sue A Chemical Firm — And He Won!
By Amanda Froelich Truth Theory
Sometimes, you just have to do things yourself — even if that means dedicating over a decade of your life to the study of a particular subject. An individual who knows this to be true is Wang Enlin, a Chinese farmer who spent 16 years studying law by himself so he could sue a chemical company for allegedly polluting his land. Fortunately, his hard work paid off in the first round.
The Daily Mail reports that Englin, who had just three years of formal education, won the first instance in a high-profile case against the powerful Qihua Group. Enlin claimed that he and his neighbors could no longer grow healthy crops, as the Group contaminated their land via chemical pollution. The Qihua Group, whose assets exceed two billion yuan (£233 million), later appealed the decision.
Enlin, who is in his 60’s, lives in the Yushutun village in the Heilongjiang Province. In 2001, his land was flooded by toxic waste discharged by the Qihua Group. On the eve of the Lunar New Year, he was playing cards with friends when all of a sudden, he realized his house was flooded with wastewater. Enlin has been trying to secure justice ever since.
A report from the incidence claimed the affected farmland “can not be used for a long time” due to the pollution. The report added that every year, the company produced polyvinyl chloride and released 15,000 to 20,000 tons. Qihua has also created a 71-acre wasteland with calcium carbide residue and a 478-acre pond with liquid waste. Some suggest Qihua continued to dump hazardous waste into the village, whose residents depend on agriculture for a living.
Not long after the incident, Enlin wrote a letter to the Land Resources Bureau of Qiqihar to complain about the pollution brought to his village Reportedly, .he was repeatedly asked to produce evidence to prove the village was contaminated — which he could not. The Chinese activist told a reporter, “ I knew I was in the right, but I did not know what law the other party had broken or whether or not there was evidence.”
Because nothing was being done, Enlin decided to teach himself law so he could get justice for himself and his neighbors. Because the farmer dropped out of primary school at the third grade, he had to re-teach himself basic education so he could understand comprehensive law books. But he persevered, and succeeded.
When he did not have money to buy the books, he visited a local book store every day and copied the relevant information by hand. In return for the use of the books, he would give the shopkeeper bags of free corn. Enlin also gathered knowledge he had learned to help his neighbors gather evidence.
Six years later, in 2007, a Chinese law firm specializing in pollution-related cases began providing free legal council to Enlin and his neighbors. They helped the villagers file a petition to the court. For an unknown reason, the processing of the case was delayed until 2015 — eight years after the original petition had been made. People’s Daily Online reports that the amount of evidence gathered over the past 16 years helped the group win the first instance, however.
The Angangxi District Court of Qiqihar ruled that the families in Yushutun village would receive financial compensation from Qixhua Group totaling 820,000 yuan (£96,000). Because the decision was appealed by the Qihua Group, the case was being processed at the Angangxi District Court as of February 2017.
Enlin isn’t deterred, however. He said, “We will certainly win. Even if we lose, we will continue to battle.”
Read more: For The First Time Ever, A Woman In China Was Cryogenically Frozen
IMAGE CREDIT:tomas1111 / 123RF Stock Photo
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I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here