So the much loved Bridge No. 50 campaigned by Tue Tam VH Group was at last inaugurated on Sunday 05/5/2019. With its construction started on 30/1/2019, this 50th bridge is given a very meaningful name: Luong Tam (Conscience), which is also that of Luong Tam Commune, Long My District, Hau Giang Province, a beautiful country area with the candid, honest population. Just hearing the name “Luong Tam” is enough to make us feel the love and warmth in heart as if we are returning to our true inner home.
The 200km trek which starts out as early as 4:00am, then in the burning heat of May as the day progresses, does not dampen the eagerness and enthusiasm of Tue Tam VH Group members. Everyone is looking forward to being at the place and giving beloved gifts to the local residents and the young children. This Tue Tam Bridge No. 50 means a lot to us, as it marks the milestone of 50 charitable bridges brought to people in far and remote countryside by Tue Tam VH Group.
Though arriving somewhat behind the scheduled time, we are heartily welcomed by the people with handshakes, glasses of water/tea, cookies, rice bowl and fruits of the fertile land.
For several decades, crossing the wide water canal in Luong Tam Commune is always a gruesome task. People cross the river on a crude raft made of wooden planks pulled from one bank to the other. On rainy or high tide days, crossing the canal like this is extremely dangerous, but the local residents, owing to their difficult living conditions, are unable to raise fund for the construction of a bridge. Their longing for a bridge are shown in the stories recounted by the elderly people on their past grimness crossing the canal on the old, shaky raft.
How pity is the people’s old-day hardship and how moving is their present happiness. Witnessing their joy and sorrow, one can understand how important is Luong Tam Bridge (Tue Tam Bridge No. 50) to the people. “Conscience” wakes up in each of us, especially the benefactors, imagining the young pupils waiting to pass the river on the small rafts which shake and rock violent in the strong water current.
So after a short campaign, the dream has finally come true. By our joint effort with Minh Tam Charity Group, headed by Mr. Do Quang Thuan, which forever accompany us in our charitable works, the big, strong and beautiful Luong Tam Bridge now spans the two banks of the canal to serve the local residents. There shall be no sight of people crowding on a raft crossing the canal or taking a long curve to bypass it.
Luong Tam Bridge (Tue Tam Bridge No. 50) is newly constructed with the length of 25m, width of 3.3m and load of 2.5 tons. The total construction cost of the bridge and two 7m long roads on two banks is VND230 million, of which VND50 million worth in cash and working days are contributed by the residents responding to the call of St. Thomas Church, VND70 million are funded by the People’s Committee of Long My District (VND50 million for the bridge, VND20 million for the roads), the balance VND120 million are campaigned by Tue Tam VH Group (VND110 million for the bridge and VND10 million for gifts to the people).
In the witness of numerous people, the representatives of the parties solemnly cut the inauguration and perform the bridge opening ritual.
The delegation, the representatives of the residents and the local government together stride on the new, beautiful bridge.
In this occasion, Tue Tam VH Group gives 8 gifts to studious pupils from families with difficulties, each of VND600,000 worth. We wish them success in study for later contribution to their native land.
In support of some households in difficulty conditions, Tue Tam VH Group gives gifts of VND250,000 worth each to 10 families.
The Group also give a memorial gift of VND1.5 million worth to the People’s Committee of Luong Tam Commune and a gift of VND1 million worth to St. Thomas Church, which originally asked Tue Tam VH Group to finance this bridge.
Adding to the joy in the inauguration of the bridge, Minh Tam Charity Group gives 400 blocks of fresh milk to babies and young children.
Everyone is happy and content with the new bridge, which promises to consolidate the connection among, bring about the economic development for, and improve the social welfare and living of the people.
Tue Tam VH Group sincerely thank benefactors, sponsors, members of the Zen community and brothers and sisters far and wide for your cooperation in the construction of this dream bridge for the people.
And it is really lucky that each of us is endowed with “Conscience” for we to love, share difficulties with, and yearn for the happiness of those around us.
We wish all elderly and young friends, brothers and sisters health and contentment and wish all residents in Luong Tam Commune, Long My District of Hau Giang Province contentment and good fortune.