A new visage of Khmer people in Tinh Bien District, An Giang
Tinh Bien is a mountainous district and situated close to the border. It has the largest number of Khmer ethnic people living in all of An Giang province. In the past, the lives of Tinh Bien people faced many difficulties, but thanks to the State’s implementation of specific policies for areas with a large number of ethnic communities, the Khmer people's lives have drastically improved.
|Tinh Bien district has many achievements in improving the lives of Khmer people.|
A changed picture
These days, walking around the communes of An Phu, Tan Lap, An Hao, Vinh Trung, An Nong, Van Giao and An Cu… We can clearly see that the scenery here has completely changed. Most of the roads are paved or made of concrete for easy access in both rainy and sunny seasons.
To realize these goals, over the years, Tinh Bien has implemented numerous programs in a synchronous and integrated manner to develop infrastructure. With the Government’s Program 135, Tinh Bien has received 12 billion VND of investment to build roads, such as: O Ta Bang (An Phu commune), Xom Moi (Tinh Bien town), Sray Skoth hamlet (Van Giao commune), etc.
Neang Mi, a Khmer woman from Soc Ta Ngao, An Phu commune, said: “Now, the lives at phums, socs are very good, there are street lights, which is safer. The roads are much more convenient than before, and they are made of concrete and decorated with flowers and trees. On holidays, people are also given gifts by the State and they are provided with a free medical examination. Everyone is very happy."
“Thanks to Programs 134, 135, Khmer people have stable housing. The State also recognized some pagodas as cultural worship establishments, and built crematoriums... We will actively accompany and act as a bridge between the Party and the government with the ethnic people”, Most Venerable Chau Cat, Chairman of Tinh Bien district's Solidarity Association for Patriotic Monks affirmed.
|Chau Men Ly (Khmer ethnic group) in An Thanh hamlet, An Hao commune, Tinh Bien district harvests jaggery to support his family with a stable income.|
These past years, investments have been poured into infrastructure, electricity, water, schools, healthcare facilities. Khmer people’s livelihoods were also improved through the support of vocational and labor training, especially for poor, near-poor, and disadvantaged households.
Programs to support housing, health care, education, and vocational training for poor households have received special attention from the locality and achieved a number of encouraging results.
Chau Men Ly's family, a Khmer ethnic minority living in An Thanh hamlet, An Hao commune (Tinh Bien district), is one of the households receiving preferential loans from the Bank for Social Policies for breeding cows. In 2015, he borrowed 20 million VND from the Social Policy Bank of Tinh Bien district to buy 2 cows.
Through hard work, his cows were well-raised. In the last four years, his family always has 4 breeding cows. Every year, the family produces 3 calves, earning more than 60 million VND of profit.
Along with investing in livestock, Mr. Men Ly also works as a jaggery processor. His family has built a spacious new house, bought a motorbike and many other household items.
In the last two years, Tinh Bien has supported production development and livelihood diversification with a total budget of nearly 2.4 billion VND, with 8 livestock projects and 3 farming projects. The total number of supported households is 178 households (of which 103 are Khmer households).
According to Ms. Neang Sem, Head of the Department of Ethnic Minority of Tinh Bien District, through these programs and policies, the lives of Khmer people in Tinh Bien have been remarkably improved. As a result, people have more and more confidence in the leadership of the Party and State.
Every year, the district introduces and creates jobs for about 7,000 labourers, organizing vocational training for more than 1,500 rural workers… Thanks to the ethnic minorities who know how to apply scientific and technical advances to cultivation and animal husbandry, production gradually develops.
Many households have become typical examples of productive labor in building cultural life. In particular, the number of poor households among ethnic minorities has decreased significantly. In 2019, the number of poor Khmer households was 871 households. By the end of 2021, there will be 666 households (accounting for 4.75%).
In order to well implement ethnic minority policies, to help improve the lives of ethnic people, according to Ms. Neang Sem, Tinh Bien will "continue to well implement the policies of the Party and State, especially the Master plan for socio-economic development in ethnic minority and mountainous areas in the 2021-2030 period, continue to strengthen information dissemination among ethnic minorities on the guidelines and policies of the Party and the laws of the State, so that the people can grasp and understand and develop together in the coming time.
When their lives are stable, production develops, their cultural and spiritual lives are increasingly enhanced, it will create a new face on the material and spiritual life of Khmer people in the border area of Tinh Bien.