Transformation from excavator driver to tech-savvy master -- CPEC role model
By Xiong Weisheng | China Economic Net Jun 24, 2021
"I was very lucky to meet Mr Sun, a Chinese engineer who helped build Pakistan in the 1990s. He taught me a lot of things, such as mechanical maintenance and Chinese," Manzoor Ali recalled his fond memories in 1993 when he first met Mr Sun. This also marked the beginning of his close bonds with China.
Twenty-eight years later, Manzoor has grown into an excellent mechanic engineer and works for China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) at the open-pit coal mine project in Block 2 of Thar Coalfield, Pakistan. In January 2021, Manzoor was awarded the medal of “Outstanding Pakistani Employee" of CPEC by the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan due to his outstanding performance at work.
Manzoor Ali receives the medal of “Outstanding Pakistani Employee" of CPEC.
A polymath and expert on China
The qualities of Manzoor can be summed up with two phrases: a man of multiple skills, and an expert on China.
In February 2017, Manzoor started out as an excavator driver at the Block 2 open-pit coal mine project of Thar Coalfield of CMEC. Gradually, he displayed excellent skills in operating bulldozers, loaders, trailers and forklifts, repairing machines, and most importantly speaking Chinese. Such versatility amazed his Chinese colleagues and seniors.
His achievements are boiled down to his insatiable appetite for learning. In 2021, the 45-year-old worker still tries to increase his repertoire of Chinese and mechanical knowledge. Keeping an amicable friendship with Chinese engineers, he often consults them about difficult and obscure points as they occur. In just four years, Manzoor has made the leap from an excavator driver, to a maintenance worker, and then to a maintenance supervisor in Pakistan.
His high mechanical maintenance techniques and fluent Chinese have drawn widespread praise. In this case, Manzoor contributes his achievements to the Chinese engineers who have aided him. He cultivated a love for the Chinese language when the 17-year-old first met Chinese engineers and he improved his Chinese and developed a good understanding of China through his beloved Chinese films.
Manzoor's Chinese, with a slight accent, has played a facilitative and crucial role in the communication between Pakistanis and Chinese. The diligent worker serves as an interpreter for Chinese and Pakistani engineers on site. Sometimes, Manzoor would introduce the Pakistani culture to the Chinese engineers. This way, Manzoor helps build a friendship bridge between Chinese and Pakistani personnel.
A dutiful worker
At work, Manzoor has shown his deep love for mechanics. This affection may have its roots in his family because his father and his uncle are both mechanical engineers.
He adheres to the philosophy of doing what he loves to do and showing it with concrete actions. For this reason, Manzoor offers to do emergency maintenance on night shift as to ensure efficient and timely maintenance and maintain the smooth operations of the mining equipment.
"I feel so proud to do this job and my family is happy. My home is in Hyderabad, but I can't leave Thar now because there is work I love and Chinese masters I admire!", said Manzoor.
Now, Manzoor also has his own apprentices. Apart from learning new things, he often helps others improve their maintenance know-how, and shares with his Pakistani colleagues what he has learned from the Chinese masters.
He believes that learning a skill will bring huge benefits to their families and lives. “After coming to the Thar coal mine, a lot of people can afford brick-and-mortar houses and live a good life," exclaimed Manzoor!
As the flagship project of "Belt & Road" initiative, Thar Coal Mine could not have been constructed without the pioneering spirit of Chinese miners, as well as the firm support of Pakistani people and employees. CMEC has employed as many as 1,600 Pakistani workers, many of whom are as hardworking as Manzoor and have made great contributions to CPEC. The Chinese and Pakistani workers have brought China-Pakistan friendship to a new level.
The Chinese version of this article was first published in China Economic Herald.