A Chinese father that chained his son up to a pole has been granted special help with his more than obvious child care needs:
It was the heartbreaking picture that went around the world – and now the tale of the Chinese toddler chained to a pole while his father went to work has a happy ending.
That’s if China’s notorious red tape doesn’t get in the way. A Chinese nursery has offered three years of free child care to two-year-old Jingdan’s poverty-stricken father Chen Chuanliu. What little money Chuanliu earns goes on rent, food and health care, which is expensive despite the hospitals being state-owned in Communist China.
There’s also the country’s obsession with legal paperwork, which makes nursery care for the children of migrant workers a universal problem in China.
‘The biggest problem for Jingdan now is that he does not have a Beijing hukou, the permanent Beijing residence document,’ explained Mr Pi. ‘According to China’s laws, the boy and his family have no rights to free health or education and other social security benefits because they are from out of town.’ It feels hopeless. And Chuanliu was determined his son would not disappear like his daughter did.
Unable to afford childcare and unable to leave Jingdan with his mother, he had no choice but to take him to work, he said.It was in an effort to keep Jingdan safe from being kidnapped like his sister that Chuanliu chained him to the pole.
Now, however, the family has been given a fighting chance. ‘I just want to show Jingdan and his family some compassion,’ Mr Pi said. ‘I never thought about this being an act of so-called social responsibility.’ Chuanliu has gratefully accepted – and, hopefully, Jingdan will never be in chains again, once the red tape is negotiated. Embarrassed by the shocking photos being beamed around the world, local government officials say they will try and bend the rules for Jingdan, if only to hold up the central Government’s drive for an ‘harmonious society’. The gap between rich and poor is growing in China and unscrupulous criminals go to extraordinary lengths to illicit money by kidnapping children and demanding a ransom from anguished parents.
Children are also sold as slave labor. And despite outrage of the 2007 brick kiln slave scandal, which saw 500 children and mentally handicapped adults kidnapped and sold into slavery, such evil trades continue in China. Hopefully Jingdan’s family’s luck is turning. Now they are praying they will be able to secure the same freedom for their missing four-year-old daughter Jinghong.
Jingdan’s dad said: ‘I am eager to send the Jingdan to the kindergarten if we are allowed to. ‘But we now want to find our daughter.’
Wow. How crazy is that??