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Dhaka Tribune

Ice Boy is melting hearts of netizens in China

Update : 11 Jan 2018, 12:29 PM
At 8:15am on January 8, Wang Fuman, a grade three student in Yunnan, China showed up at school all red faced with snow covering his hair and eyebrows, while braving freezing temperatures of -9°C to sit his final exams. According to Channel News Asia, the eight-year-old has become a sensation among Weibo netizens, who nicknamed him “Ice Boy,” after the school’s Principal Fu Heng, took a photo and uploaded it on the Chinese social media site after finding him in his frozen. Wang hails from Xinjie, a town in Ludian County Zhaotong, Yunnan Province, and has been walking 4.5km every day along mountainous path just to go school. Heng told the People’s Daily it was the first day of the final exam when the temperature had dropped in the last half an hour, and as Wang lived pretty far from school, by the time he got to class his hair was full of frost. The school has confirmed Wang’s parents are labourers who work away from home and that he lives with his brother and sister.Whats On Weibo reports that there is a phenomenon in China – many “left behind children” whose parents leave them behind in the countryside to live with other family members and go looking in the cities for work. This appears to be a direct result of the rapid urbanization the China is going through and has caused many families, who have no other means to earn a living, settle with this inconvenient lifestyle. The area around Ludian County, where Wang is from, is relatively poor. In 2014, Ludian was also subjected to a 6.5-magnitude earthquake that killed over 600 people and destroyed an estimated 80,000 homes. In 2015, the China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) released a report which estimated there are over 61 million “left-behind children” in the country. China’s rapid urbanization comes with several of its flaws, one of which is many smaller rural schools that are being shut down. In 2016, a story of a single teacher keeping a school open for just two students also became trending on Weibo. Heng told the People’s Daily that currently there was no heating at the school but they are doing all they could to arrange a heating system. Many netizens on Weibo have expressed concerns for Wang and his fellow students, and have offered to donate money, clothing and other items to support the school.
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