URUMQI, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Abduhabar Jappar bought a gold necklace for his wife last year, the first fancy birthday gift he ever gave her since their marriage.
A former farmer in the rural area of Moyu County in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Abduhabar could barely make ends meet by farming and doing odd jobs. The cost of his mother's heart surgery aggravated the financial condition of the poor family.
The situation they were in did not change until October 2018, when he was recruited by a construction installation company in his village.
"I wanted to find a stable job. It would be better to be close to home so that I could not only increase my income but also take care of my mother," he recalled.
Abduhabar is among tens of millions of Xinjiang residents who have been lifted out of poverty by Xinjiang's employment policies, part of China's national drive to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020.
Abduhabar's diligence and hard work made him a master of welding and electrical engineering in a very short time. In just one year, he has become the backbone of the company.
"Whenever my co-workers face problems related to water and electricity, they turn to me," he said.
In December 2019, Abduhabar was appointed deputy general manager of the company and put in charge of two factories, bringing home up to 6,000 yuan (about 926 U.S. dollars) per month.
His wife later joined the company, earning more than 2,000 yuan per month.
In 2020, authorities in Xinjiang formulated a special employment assistance plan, focusing on developing industries to boost employment. In that year alone, the region lifted some 100,000 residents out of poverty and helped them increase their income by developing labor-intensive industries such as textile, clothing and electronic product assembling. Industries suitable for local conditions, including specialty farming and breeding, processing of agricultural products and byproducts, and rural tourism were also promoted.
With substantially higher income, Abduhabar's family has moved into a new house and bought appliances such as a washing machine and refrigerator. On weekends, he often takes his family to downtown Hotan or Moyu County for shopping, outings or barbecues.
In addition to the necklace, he also bought an electric bicycle for his wife. The bike has made it easier for her to pick up children from school and go shopping.
"Seeing the smiles on my family members' faces, I feel my heart is as sweet as honey," he said. Enditem