Friday, 06. March 2015
20. 06. 14. - 16:00
China may have become a powerhouse in the world economy, but social conditions remain locked in the Victorian age for many.
This 13-year-old boy has been forced to quit school and become a cleaner and carer for his father to keep him alive.
Guo Dahai was a straight-A's student a No. 93 Middle School in Shenyang city in north-eastern China's Liaoning province. In 2010, when he was 9 years old, his mother died from cerebral haemorrhage. Soon afterwards his father Guo Xin was struck down with a virulent form of diabetes that left him crippled and unable to work.
Now the father has been hospitalised and the boy has to leave school to take care of him in the local hospital. The boy sleeps by his father’s bed, only resting after his father has gone to sleep.
He has to cook for him in the hospital, clean him and change his bedsheets. The pair depends on a 500 RMB (50 GBP) month subsidy from the government to live. To save money, Gao can only afford the cheapest of food for himself and his father.
Gao said: "It is a shame because I really liked school and was doing well there but I have to look after dad because there is no-one else. I also had to leave my judo classes which I really enjoyed and which I was also good at.
"I won some prize money in a judo competition once, but I don't have the money now to keep up classes. Still, it is my duty to care for my father."
His dad said: "I don't like the situation but there is nothing I can do about it. If he wasn't here for me I would starve. I hope one day to be well enough to do something for him, and that there is time enough yet in his young life for him to make something of himself other than as a carer for his old man."
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