What I want is a healthy grandson, so I will try anything I can
Updated: 2016-07-15 08:25
Mao Baozhu, 63, of Hengdong county, Hunan province, is the grandmother of one of the 11 children who received no compensation after the lawsuit against Hengyang Meilun Chemical Pigment Co.
Seeing my 8-year-old grandson feeling dizzy or nauseous, I just feel so upset. I can't help him, so I have no idea what to do.
He doesn't look any different from other children his age, but he has very bad memory. He can put a book on a table and then instantly forget where he's put it.
I attribute this to when he was 4, which is when a chemical pigment factory moved into our area. It was less than 30 meters from our home. At first, I didn't realize his abnormal behavior was down to the pollutants discharged by the plant; it was only when I heard one of my neighbors had similar symptoms that I put it together.
My son and daughter-in-law have spent a lot on treatment for my grandson, including taking him to Shanghai to see a specialist, who diagnosed him with excessive levels of lead in his blood. During the past four years, we've spent tens of thousands of yuan, but the doctor says the effects will be permanent.
Money has become a big problem for our family. My husband and I are out of work, and we have to rely on my son and daughter-in-law to work hard. They earn 4,000 yuan ($600) a month, which is hardly enough to cover our living costs, let alone the medical bills.
What I want is a healthy grandson, so I'll try anything. I asked the county government for help and told them how serious the pollution is, and I also went to court to get compensation from the factory. All my efforts have been in vain. But I can't give up. The boy needs me. He needs justice and a better life.
I've been to the provincial high court again and again with evidence and to share my experience with the judges. I just want them to know the effect pollution has had - not only my grandson, but on many others.
In October, I heard the factory will be relocated. It may not have had anything to do with parents and grandparents like me, but it's still good news.
Mao Baozhu was speaking to Cao Yin.
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