Saturday, 26. July 2014
09. 05. 14. - 16:00
Chinese officials have responded to a sad story about young homeless boys living in a hole in the wall - by boarding up the hole.
"No hole, no homelessness, no problem!" said Communist Party official Lin Sun, 55, with a logic that defies explanation.
Xiao Shuai, 11, and Xiao Lai, 13, were two youngsters who made their home in the wall in the city of Shenyang two years ago. Both of the boys survive by doing menial odd jobs but experience long periods of being unemployed and penniless.
They began to live in the hole-in-the-wall because they had no money for proper accommodation. They laid down a mattress to sleep on and stored their food on ropes to stop rats and other vermin from getting to it.
Sometimes other boys would stay with them and the group became known to locals as the Hole-in-the-wall gang, from the famous Robert Redford and Paul Newman film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Xiao Lai said: "It wasn't the best place in the world but it was a home to us. It kept us dry and it kept us warm. We weren't doing any harm there. We didn't rob people or smash up things. We kept ourselves to ourselves."
Several times in the past two years local media traipsed down to the hole to try to interview the boys. Worldly wise beyond their years, they were always reluctant to publicise their unique home, fearing media exposure would lead to them being evicted.
That eventually happened this week. Police turned up with a barrow load of cement and sealed off their wall house. The boys have been split up and have gone their separate ways to find their way in a harsh world.
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