In Pyongyang, there is a woman who has worked unassumingly at a most unattractive job for decades.
Kim Chon Hui has been a sewage dredger at the Phyongchon District Water Supply and Sewerage Management Station for nearly 30 years.
As she joined the station in 1993, she voluntarily became a sewage dredger.
“My father who was a war veteran also worked at a demanding job for a long time. He took pride in devoting himself to the people and society. So, he enjoyed public respect and appreciation. I also wanted to live like my father,” said Kim when asked what inspired her to choose such a labour-consuming job as a woman.
Though she was a married woman who had to take care of parents-in-law and children, she worked hard to acquaint herself with the sewer network of the area in her charge.
In the course of this, she became a skilled worker who got fully familiar with the condition of the sewers assigned to her workteam.
She always carries around a rough sketch of the sewers which shows in detail the parts that are defective and need to be maintained properly or repaired immediately.
One spring, her work-team was charged with an urgent task of repairing defective sewers in an area.
It was a difficult work which had to be carried out at dawn when the residents are fast asleep.
At that time, Kim asked to give her the task and flawlessly completed it by dint of good workmanship along with other members of her workteam.
It was one early rainy morning that her teammates saw a dripping figure coming out of a manhole as they rushed to a crossroads section which used to cause troubles whenever it rained heavily.
“She was Chon Hui, of course,” said Kim To Yon, a long-time workmate of hers. “She calmed us down saying there was nothing to worry about any more. She has always lived and worked like this.”
Every time a challenging job was assigned to the team, she would do the work of two or three. That is why she is called the treasure of the workteam.
Her workplace is under the ground and her work is invisible to others.
However, all the residents of her district know her and respect her.
“Whenever they acknowledge me calling me ‘mother’, I feel happy and contented. It pleases me to think that people need me and I relieve them of their worries even a little,” said Kim Chon Hui.