Ning Xingnian provides home-visit service for a local resident. [Photo by Guan Yu/China.org.cn]
A 52-year-old man paralyzed for 25 years earns a living by making keys and repairing locks and shoes. He is welcomed and respected by local people for his exquisite skills and good service.
Ning Xingnian comes from Jinggang County in Hefei, Anhui Province. He used to be a much-traveled bricklayer until misfortune struck at the age of 27.
In an accident at his construction site, he fell from 15 meters and suffered a serious injury to his lumbar region that left him paralyzed from the waist down and forced to live in a wheelchair.
"When I learned that I would be paralyzed forever, I felt so miserable that I had no courage to live on," Ning said. His wife was about to give birth to their baby at that time.
Ning lay in bed for a whole year, during which, in despair, he even thought of committing suicide. His relatives and friends came to help the family to get through the most difficult times. With the birth of his baby, Ning gradually felt a strong sense of responsibility and decided to battle on for the sake of his family.
In 1993, through the introduction of a friend, Ning met a teacher and started to learn such skills as making keys and repairing locks and shoes. As there was no high technology available in this field in the early 1990s, as there is now, Ning had to rely entirely on patience and care to learn the techniques.
Through years of painstaking efforts, Ning has developed exquisite repair techniques, and been able to open his own shop in a street in Hefei. Because of his exquisite skills and good service, his business has prospered.
Customers of the shop are mostly passers-by. If customers call him, Ning will ride his motor-tricycle to provide door-to-door service, no matter what the distance, rain or shine, working days or holidays.
Ning often provides free service for the poverty-stricken families. Once, he received a call from a 70-year-old woman who had accidently locked herself out of her home. It took Ning more than 20 minutes to reach her in his wheelchair. After finishing the work, he looked around and found that the old woman lived in miserable penury, so he didn't take a single cent from her.
Every day, Ning rides his motor-tricycle to shuttle around the streets in Hefei to give a helping hand to those in need. "Although I am physically handicapped, I feel happy to be able to help others," he said.