(Text by Reporter Huang Jingjing) The work for letters and visits is known as the “most difficult thing in the world”, but no matter how difficult the work is, it must be done. Jing’an District Office for Letters and Visits is such a tough and united team. The team members work in close collaboration and complement each other, and the division of labor does not do them apart. They always position themselves as “intimate friends” of the people, regarding the letters from the people as the letters from their homes, and the people visiting the office as their families.
As the “leader”, Ke Qi, Director of Jing’an District Office for Letters and Visits, believes that work for letters and visits is the wind vane to social stability and the barometer reflecting social conditions and the will of the people. “We should keep the principle of the Party firmly in mind and commit to a people-centered attitude to do the work for letters and visits well with heart, emotion and wisdom, doing all we can to solve problems for the people.” It is learned that since the “Merger between Zhabei District and Jing’an District”, Jing’an District Office for Letters and Visits has received over 40 thousand petitioning people and led the resolution of hundreds of conflicts of letters and visits, forming close bonds between the CPC Committee, the government and the people.
Focus on the Real Difficulties
Mr. Hu was a student from a prestigious university in Shanghai in the 1960s who has made great contribution to the country. He returned to Shanghai and lived there in his retirement. Mr. Hu had no children and suffered from cancer, which made his life difficult. Having no other choice, he wrote a letter to Jing’an District Office for Letters and Visits for help. With the help of relevant policies, his difficult life was improved to some extent. Meanwhile, the team from the Office for Letters and Visits listed Mr. Hu as a recipient of the Party Branch’s pairing support and financed the renovation of his doors and windows. In addition, the members of the team often bought daily necessities paid with their own money and gave them to the old man when visiting him, practicing the principle of “even if the case is concluded and the problem is solved, the warm relationship between the team and the recipient will last long” with actions. Mr. Hu felt the country and the organization’s genuine concern for him and sent them thank-you letters for many times.
More than a year ago, Tian Xin (pseudonym), who was in Grade 9, suffered a sudden change in life. Her father died all of a sudden and her mother took French leave. Without household registration, she could not even take the senior school entrance exam. The little girl wrote a letter to Jing’an District Office for Letters and Visits, asking for nothing but said that she wanted to continue studying. Jing’an District Office for Letters and Visits immediately contacted departments including Jing’an District Education Bureau, Jing’an District Civil Affairs Bureau and Communist Youth League Committee of China Jing’an District Committee, quickly formed a small “alliance” helping the youth in a dilemma, and eventually solved Tian Xin’s household registration and custody problem. In the next year, Tian Xin was enrolled by an elite high school in Shanghai with an excellent score surpassing the school’s enrollment mark by more than 30 points, making the best return to those who helped her. Some people asked that why the Office for Letters and Visits spent so much time and energy on such an individual case? Ke Qi said, “We should focus more on the individual cases having real difficulties, and the departments should work together to help those in need solve practical problems.”
Work Together to Solve the Toilet-related Difficulty
There is a three-storied old brick-and-wood structured foreign-style house with a history of more than 100 years on West Beijing Road, which is listed as an “Excellent Historical Building” by Shanghai Municipal Government. In 2017, Jing’an District People’s Government covered the house in the “Renovation of Historical Buildings under Protection” Practical Project, and Jing’an District Housing Management Bureau entrusted a design unit specializing in the renovation of historical buildings under protection with the design.
Such renovation should have been a good thing for the residents living in the house since it aimed to improve their living standards, but in June 2017, 5 residents living on the third floor of the house chose to come to Jing’an District Office for Letters and Visits to reflect their difficulty. The officials received the residents and learned that altogether there were 12 families living on the third floor of the house and they shared an old fashioned toilet. The residents clamored for taking the opportunity of the renovation to reconstruct the sanitation. In order to complete the renovation and improve the residents’ living standards while preserving the identified conservation parts and the featured indoor decorations of the construction, Jing’an District Office for Letters and Visits discussed with multiple departments including Jing’an District Housing Management Bureau and the Real Estate Group for many times, and designed multiple sets of plans to resolve the problem. The toilet tripled on the former basis and the residents all approved the work.
Let the Work for Letters and Visits Return to Its “Origin”
The letters from and the visits of the people reflected many common problems. For example, last year, it was learned from the letters from the people that some of the units specializing in medical appliance products used opening free experience stores to provide the elderly with free medical appliance treatment services as an excuse to promote high-priced medical appliance products, coaxing the elderly to spend lots of money and leading to a detrimental influence on the society.
After doing collective research, the team from the Office for Letters and Visits felt that the social phenomenon had become a common problem relating to the vital interests of the people, thus they reported the suggestions of the people to Shanghai Municipal Office for Letters and Visits. In the end, after instructed by the major leaders of the Shanghai Committee of the CPC, Shanghai Administration for Industry & Commerce and Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration jointly issued Notice of Issuing the Special Rectification Work Plan on Deepening the Implementation of Preventing Illegally Promoting Health Food to the Elderly, effectively curbing the illegal promotion of health food towards the elder group. From 2016 to 2017, city leaders made important instructions on the opinions and suggestions of the people reported by Jing’an District Office for Letters and Visits for 8 successive times, and 3 of the instructions were selected as excellent suggestions in Shanghai. For a long time, Jing’an District Office for Letters and Visits has been committed to converting the opinions of the people to the decision making resources of the government, blowing off the worries of the people while listening to their will, thus gathering people’s will together and driving the work for letters and visits to its origin.
As long as the Party and the people are in need, they always do their best; as long as it’s the time for claiming more benefits for the people, they always work hard. “The work for letters and visits should be the bridge between the government and the people instead of the ‘fireman’ busy fighting with fire.” Ke Qi said, “This is what it is really for. We collect opinions and suggestions from the people and report them to senior departments to provide reference to policy making.”