Voluntary lawyer Cai Yiguo brings free legal aid to Tibetans - Economy & Society - Tibetol

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Voluntary lawyer Cai Yiguo brings free legal aid to Tibetans
By:China Tibet Online
update:May 17,2017
May 17,2017--"Using compassion to uphold justice" has always been the working philosophy of Cai Yiguo, a young professional lawyer, in his career.
In June 2015, when he was 38 years old he gave up his steady income in east China's Jiangsu Province to come to Gabasongduo Township, Tongde County, Qinghai Province, to join the "1+1" Chinese legal aid volunteering team.
At that time Tongde was still a "lawyer-less county"and people there had little concept of law. To make matters worse, even if many people know that some cases could only be solved through a lawsuit, they would not do this because of lack of money to hire a lawyer.
"Maybe because I was born in the countryside, I understand the difficulties of poor people. Since  young,  I've found it hard for me to bear seeing people being wronged,"said Cai Yiguoin mixed emotions, who overcame altitude sickness and got to work on his second day in Tongde.
At first, local people did not believe him. For them, it's hard to believe that they could go to court for free. Although Cai Yiguo went through multiple channels to call on everyone to "come and look for lawyer Cai if you run into trouble", few people came looking for help.
As a result, Cai Yiguo started his way to promote concept of law.  He entered businesses, schools, government offices and etc. to sow the seeds of the concept of law.
"The case that left me the deepest impression was one in August 2015. The party asking for help said that her four-year-old son's eye was injured by her neighbor's firecrackers. But there was no evidence. It was dark at the time of the incident and the surrounding neighbors were unwilling to act as witness for various reasons,"Cai Yiguo recalls.
"This is probably the toughest case I've worked on. Whenever I was free I would go to the scene to take photos, collect evidence and talk with the neighbors. After a year I finally managed to help them win the lawsuit, and they were paid medical fees and disability compensation.
It was from then on that villagers started trusting him. Whoever ran into trouble, the first thought that sprung to mind was "to look for lawyer Cai, and he'll help".
In two years, Cai Yiguo defended and worked as procurator in more than 50 cases. Every month he received hundreds of visitors and has left his mark on 80% of the villages in the area. This frail-looking professional lawyer is now considered as a friend, even a family member in the eyes of people in Tongde County.
 "Lawyers aren't the people standing high above the masses that you see on TV. I'm a common one and part of you. I would prefer working as the 'legal representative' for ordinary people to a senior white-collar in city, for this makes me feel at ease", said  Cai Yiguo.
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