Are these the world’s most inspiring Eco-Warriors?

Blind man and his sidekick with no arms have planted 10,000 trees in rural China in 10 years!

* Jia Haixia and Jia Wenqi have planted 10,000 trees in Hebei, China
* Mr Haixia is blind in both eyes and Mr Wenqi is a double amputee
* Working together in a unique way when they were left unable to work
* ‘I am his hands and he is my eyes,’ says Mr Haixia. ‘We are a good team’
* Together they have transformed a three-hectare stretch of riverbank

PUBLISHED: 17:26 GMT, 13 March 2015

They form an unlikely duo – especially for something as physically demanding as planting trees. But a blind man and a double amputee have overcome their disabilities by becoming each other’s eyes and hands. Jia Haixa and Jia Wenqi, both 53, embarked on their heart-warming partnership 10 years ago after finding they were unable to secure jobs due to their respective impairments. Together they have created their own unique way of working that has allowed them to transform a three-hectare stretch of riverbank, according to The People’s Daily online.

Team work: Blind Jia Haixa and double amputee Jia Wenqi have found a unique way of working together
Partnership working: Blind Mr Haixa scales a tree with the help of Mr Wenqi, so that he can find fresh cuttings to plant in the ground

‘I am his hands,’ said blind Mr Haixia. ‘He is my eyes. We are good partners.’ The 53-year-old was born with congenital cataracts which left him blind in his left eye. Then in 2000, due to a work accident, he also lost the sight in his right eye. Mr Wenqi, also 53, lost both arms in an accident when he was just three-years-old.
In 2001, unable to secure work elsewhere, the eco-warriors leased a large stretch of the river bank from the local government in a bid to plant trees for future generations. The proud pair also hoped to earn a modest income from their work from government funding and help protect their village from flooding in the process. Each day the dedicated pair leave their home at 7am armed with only a hammer and iron rod. Before they can start their work Mr Wenqi has to carry his blind companion across a fast moving river.
Without money to buy saplings, they then have to collect cuttings. This is no easy task and involves Mr Haixa scaling large trees. Without the use of his eyes, he is guided by his armless companion as he hauls himself through the branches. Back on solid ground, he then creates a hole and plants the new shoot. It then becomes Mr Wenqi’s job to water the saplings. 

It hasn’t been fast work, but now the three hectare site is covered with trees that attract a large number of birds. In total the duo believe they have planted 10,000 trees in a decade and have no plans to stop. ‘Though we did not accomplish much in a dozens years, we recognize our effort,’ said Mr Haixia. Mr Wenqi added:  ‘We stand on our own feet. The fruits of our labor taste sweeter. Even though we are gnawing on steam buns, we find peace in our hearts.’
Companions: Mr Wenqi carriers his blind colleagues across the river before they can begin their days work
Best of friends: The inspirational pair have refused to let their individual disabilities hold them back
The pair have planted 10,000 trees together to improve the local environment and help with flood prevention
Partnership working: Blind Mr Haixa scales a tree with the help of Mr Wenqi, so that he can find fresh cuttings to plant in the ground

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