Chinese professor creates microblog to end child-abduction and forced child beggars
If you watched the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, you are unlikely to forget that in the film, many homeless Indian children were tricked and trained into becoming beggars. Such brutalities and cruelties are going on in China as well. Every day, underground gangs kidnap children and torture and mutilate them into their milch cows.
As Ministry of Tofu stated in another report, children’s woes were highlighted by Chinese New Year, the most important time for family reunion.
On January 25, 2011, Yu Jianrong, a famous human rights activist and sociologist, launched a Sina microblog in which he called on Chinese netizens to wield their camera lenses, expose child beggars and upload the pictures to the blog, a cause he believed can save the mistreated children and help battle such crimes.
The microblog has sent immense reverberations throughout the country’s cyberspace. 74,834 have followed the microblog and thousands offered their clues and pieces of evidence.
The campaign has also had a repercussion that Professor Yu probably didn’t expect: it has become a lost-and-found platform. Many bereft and disheartened parents pin their last flicker of hope on posting pictures and info of their missing kids on the microblog, whereas a mother recognized her son in the vast sea of pictures.
Below is quoted directly from Shanghai Daily,
Online comments describe the cruelty suffered by children abducted and then harmed by being burnt on their faces and bodies, children going blind or deaf because of mistreatment, even children having hands or legs chopped off.
The children, online posters say, are sold to beggars with prices from just a few hundred yuan to more than a thousand each, depending on their physical condition. Damaged children fetch higher prices as they attract more sympathy, and earn more money.
“Giving money to those beggars does not help the poor children as their greedy abusers only buy more of them, taking photos may have a better effect and it may also scare off the beggars,” was one comment.
According to Information Times, the 30 plus children found on the streets of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province in south China all came from a few villages administered by Fuyang, Anhui Province in east China. These villages are quite well-off by Chinese rural standards, but they profit from the “industrialized” child-abduction and abuse.
A story reprinted in Xinhua says Gongxiao Village, one of the villages, is notoriously “Village of Crippled Kids.” It has been the hometown of beggars since late last century. Kidnappers have always been scouting for healthy, mentally normal and young kids, first in neighboring villages and counties, then in neighboring provinces. In the end, their radar has been expanded to the entire coastal regions.
After kids have been snatched away from their parents, they would receive “training” at the homes of their “owners.” “Owners” lock up kids in coops, and would not let them out until they are tamed. Any kid that doesn’t toe the line would be beat up. In order to make these kids look more miserable, “trainers” mutilate them the way stated above, and sometimes pour vitriol on their faces.
“Owners” feed kids in the morning, and then place them on the streets and monitor them from afar. At night, they collect the daily income. If the child beggar has not garnered enough money, not only does he have to starve, he would sustain beatings as well.