A retired veteran who lost both his legs has spent 10 years planting more than 3,000 trees on the sides of north China's remote mountains. Sixty two-year-old Ma Sanxiao is a former soldier. He lost both of his legs due to sepsis, a disease where blood is overwhelmed by bacteria. He had one leg amputated in 1984, the other in 2004.
But that has not stopped him from planting more than 3,000 trees on nearby mountains in Jingxing county in Hebei Province during the past 10 years. Ma gets before 5 a.m. every day, puts on his prosthetic limbs, climbs the mountains and plants trees.
It takes Ma more than 40 minutes to climb just hundreds of metres of mountain. Because he's not "climbing", he's "crawling". Ma said that after the first amputation, he was distressed. He sold everything valuable at home and ran into heavy debt.
He then began to plant trees in 2001 on the barren mountains nearby, hoping to earn money by selling the trees. Later his situation improved as the pensions for retired veterans increased. Ma decided never to sell the trees and just let them improve the ecological environment. "I plant more trees to make the mountains greener. As you see, the straight lines of trees are just like green soldiers of the nature," he said.