• Wang Enlin: farmer and now self-trained lawyer. (People's Daily China)
If there was ever an underdog story, this is it.
By
Shami Sivasubramanian

9 Feb 2017 - 1:01 PM  UPDATED 9 Feb 2017 - 1:01 PM

A Chinese farmer has triumphed over a first round legal battle against a large chemical company which he alleged pollutes his land in the Heilongjiang Province, reports People’s Daily Online.

But the kicker is how he got there. Wang Enlin spent the last 16 years training himself in the law for the purpose of suing the chemical plant, Qihua Group.

Wang, in his 60s, had only had three years of formal education before commencing self-study in law. 

Wang claims Qihua Group effluents began flooding his and his neighbours’ lands in 2001, and have continued to the present day. The toxic waste turned the lands infertile and incapable of growing crops, necessary for Wang’s livelihood and business.

Qihua Group, however, denies these allegations. 

On winning the first trial, the Angangxi District Court ruled the affected families would each receive compensation of 820,000 yuan (about AUD $156,000) from the chemical corporation. But, Qihua Group has since appealed the court's decision.

Wang was playing cards and making dumplings with friends on the eve of Lunar New Year, when suddenly his house was flooded with effluent from the Qihua Group chemical plant.

Though he understands that the chemical plant has deep pocket to sustain lengthy and expensive legal proceeding - over AUD $380 million in networth – Wang says he sees this court case as a way to demand justice for his neighbours and himself.

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