The only thing that differentiates successful people from others is that once they set their eye on a goal, they don’t rest till they achieve it. We all know that nothing’s really impossible if you are determined to achieve something, but it is people like Wang Enlin who actually make us believe in such sayings.
When nothing helped him seek justice, the Chinese farmer took things in his own hands and studied law for 16 years to sue the chemical firm that damaged his farmland by dumping toxic waste on it.
It all began in 2001 when the state-owned chemical firm Qihua Group allegedly discharged its toxic waste into Wang’s farm. As reported by Daily Mail, Wang recalls having a good time playing cards and making dumplings with his neighbours when they realized that the building they were in at the time, suddenly got flooded. It was the wastewater released by the nearby Qihua factory, which also entered the farmland of villagers.
The toxic water contaminated the land, substantially reducing its arability. The polluted land could not be used for growing crops for a long time, affecting the majority of population that depends on agriculture.
Apparently, the huge chemical company continued dumping its toxic waste into the village farmlands for 15 years. The extent of damage can be estimated by the fact that the company, which produced polyvinyl chloride, released 15,000 to 20,000 tons of chemical waste every year.
At first, Wang Enlin complained about the issue to Land Resources Bureau by writing a letter, but the officials kept asking him to provide evidence that his farmland had in fact been adversely affected. As reported by the Daily Mail, Wang Enlin said:
“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.”
This is when the farmer in his 60s decided to do something about the situation. A third grade school drop-out, Wang had nothing but a dictionary to help him as he began reading a dozen of law books.
However, this wasn’t the only hardship he faced. Wang didn’t even have enough money to buy books so he would spend days reading books at a local store and write down all the information gathered in a notebook.
This went on for 16 years and finally as the court began processing the case in 2015, Wang Enlin and his neighbours won the first round! Though the chemical firm has appealed against the decision, the determined farmer is resolute to fight till the end. In his words:
‘We will certainly win. Even if we lose, we will continue to battle.’
What an inspiring man!