Photo: Residents of Huayiyuan Neighborhood are using the elevators cheerfully (by Reporter Yu Ruwen)
(Text by Reporter Xing Beilin) At noon of February 6, 88-year-old Huang Yuwan, living in Building No. 3 of Huayiyuan Neighborhood at Lane 150 of West Yan’an Road, was waiting for his old friends to take the elevator to go down to have dinner together. “I am extremely happy today as several of my old friends who haven’t gone down from their homes for a long time can finally go down through the elevators to have dinner together with me.” he said. On that day, the two elevators newly installed at Building No. 3 and Building No. 4 of Huayiyuan Neighborhood respectively passed the acceptance check and began trial operation. Therefore, residents living in the two buildings can formally say goodbye to the days “when they needed to rest for a while after walking for a while when going up and down stairs” and take the elevators to go up and down effortlessly.
Going down is not difficult any more
“Being steady, fast and comfortable, the noiseless elevator is fantastic to me.” Xu Yueping, living on the 4th floor of Building No. 4, shared her feeling about taking the elevators cheerfully like a child as soon as she went down from her home through the newly-installed elevator. Being 73 years old this year, Xu Yueping had not been so well with her joints all the time and she even dared not to go downstairs at her own will after fitted with total knee prosthesis last year. She told the reporter that she could only stay at home without going anywhere unless she must go to the hospital to dispense medicines or go to food markets to purchase foods. “From the first floor to the fourth floor, there are totally more than 60 steps. I needed to rest for several times to get home in the past, which was too tired. I really dared not to go. But now, I can go up and down as I want at any time effortlessly, which makes me extremely happy.” she said. The reporter found after taking the elevators that although the space of the elevator cars was not large but it can satisfy the needs of residents living in the buildings to go up and down. They can go down from or go up to their homes easily within 1 or 2 minutes after swiping their cards and pressing the corresponding bottoms with their floor numbers lightly.
Uncle Jiang, living in the 6th floor, is over 80 years old this year and seldom went down from his home due to limited ability to walk in the past. Uncle Huang, living in the 5th floor, could only ask someone else to lift him down from his home and then lift him up to his home if he needed to go to hospital. Granny Zhang, whose home is on the 4th floor, could not help but choose to rent house in other place to live as a result of the great efforts needed to go upstairs to her own home. The reporter learnt from interviews that among the 48 households living in Building No. 3 and Building No. 4, 80% were aged residents with the eldest one being 91 years old. Due to advanced age as well as frail health, quite a few old residents could not go down from their homes for several weeks or even several months but only sat in front of their windows to look to the outside. The 16 steps of each floor became the insurmountable “natural moat” in front of those residents living in high floors. Thus, installing elevators has become the most urgent desire from their inner hearts.
To make up for the regrets of the residents of being unable to go downstairs, Meiliyuan Neighborhood Committee and Meiliyuan Community Co-construction Association took the lead in carrying out the application work to install elevators. Fei Min, Deputy Secretary General of Meiliyuan Community Co-construction Association actively undertook the specific affairs of application procedures. He made great efforts to handle procedures, coordinated contradictions of residents together with relevant officers and listened to residents’ opinions and suggestions on the designing scheme of the elevators. Fei Min and his old partners knew that from winning supports from the owner and the property management company of the community and handling various approval procedures, to officially launching the project, the elevators passing the acceptance check and beginning the trial operation, a lot of efforts had been made and many difficulties had been overcome. Besides, they could not complete the project successfully without the great support from the residents. Aunt Guo, living in the first floor of Building No. 4, ticked the “Agree” on the Opinion Collection Form on Installing Elevators although she needed not use the elevator and installing elevator would influence the daylight of her house. She said, “I cannot only consider myself. Installing elevators is necessary as other residents are now in advanced age with limited ability to walk and climb 6-floor stairs to go home.”
Take good care of the elevators as they were your own children
Now, as the elevators had been installed and put into use, it came to the question of how to provide the guarantee repair as well as maintenance, ensure the safety and charge the relevant expenses of the elevators while providing convenience for residents. In order to make concerted efforts to take good use of and protect the elevators, residents spontaneously established an Elevator Self-management Group to conduct self-management and also developed “Contracted Convention on Taking Good Care of Elevators”. Liu Ji’an, member of the self-management group told the reporter that the elevator had finally been installed with the joint efforts of all residents living in the building, and effective management was essential as they all wanted to take good use of the elevator. “We should manage the use of our elevator by ourselves. Especially, we six members of the self-management group should even take good care of the elevator as it were our own child.” he said.
“Everyone should cherish the elevator; hazardous materials shall not be brought into the elevator; safety and civilization shall be ensured when you take the elevator; smoking and dropping litter shall not be accepted in the elevator; be sure to keep calm and call out relevant person to get help if encountering emergency when taking the elevator.” The reporter found that the readable “Contracted Convention on Taking Good Care of Elevators” had been posted in the eye-catching locations in the passageways. Besides, sofas and green plants brought by residents themselves from their home to share with everyone were placed in the passageways, making the little passageways a warm place for residents to talk about their daily lives and the management of building groups.
According to the introduction of Liu Ji’an, the engineering costs of the elevators newly-installed in Building No. 3 and Building No. 4 of Huayiyuan Neighborhood were shared by all residents based on a calculation formula with each set of house as the unit and floor number as the cardinal number. The residents on the first floor need not to pay any fees, while the cost would go higher and higher along with the floor number getting larger and larger. Residents living in the 2nd to the 6th floor needed pay a certain fee, which on average is RMB 20 thousand per household. Correspondingly, the electric charge, equipment maintenance and testing fees and daily cleaning fees are also shared by all households. Residents living in the 1st floor need not pay the operating fee while residents living on other floors shall pay for corresponding fees based on the floors that they live on, which is relatively fair in the residents’ feelings.
Relevant responsible person of Meiliyuan Neighborhood Committee also told the reporter that Huayiyuan Neighborhood, built in 1980s, had been upgraded both in terms of overall aesthetic degree and function after the “Beautiful Home” construction. Furthermore, the putting into use of the newly-installed elevators this time greatly improved the housing conditions and living quality of the aged residents while at the same time endowing them a strong sense of happiness, which also writes down the most beautiful annotation for Huayiyuan Neighborhood where neighbors living in harmony with and helping each other has become a common practice.