Posts Tagged ‘Sichuan’

The chains of love

February 5, 2010

In what can only be described as Chinese Child Care, father Chen Chuanliu; an unlicensed Beijing rickshaw rider, must chain his two year old son, Lao Lu, to a pole, each time he sets out on a fare for fear of losing him. Making a mere few dollars per day, and with a disabled wife who is forced to roam the streets for recyclable rubbish, Chen is a migrant worker from Sichuan province, and has few options to protect his son from child stealers; an issue that is rampant throughout China. It was only recently that his four year old daughter Ling was stolen, and without even a photograph of her, he has no way of even putting up lost child posters.

This kind of story is humorous at a glance, but when you dig deeper into the specifics, it tells of the hardship that affects literally millions of Chinese every day – particularly those migrant workers who have come into the cities from the countryside. While to Chen and his family it is simply life and must be dealt with as it comes, for him, looking after his family is the most important thing.

Child stealing is a massive issue in China, with children being sold to those people who cannot have their own – or worse, as cheap labour in remote mines. Thousands of children are stolen each year, with most of them never being seen again by their original families. With both mother and father working, what options are left? Once concerned individuals noticed the chained child, authorities ordered the chains to be removed, but is leaving a two year old, alone in a 9 ft single room apartment any better?

China is a fascinating country, where explosive growth is taking it into an unknown future, but despite all the glitz and glamour of the modern business centre’s and high-rises’, at the core is often extreme poverty – a problem that is not going to resolve itself anytime soon.

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