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Elderly, Women, & Children Left Behind in China’s Countryside

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

From NetEase:

The pain of “emptiness” in China’s countryside

According to statistics, the total number of rural migrant workers amounts to 230 million. Restricted by household registration, residence and education, many migrant workers have to left their family behind in the rural areas. Hence in the countryside of China, there is a left-behind group consisting of women, children and old parents. A survey indicates that there are 87 million people left in the rural areas across the country, including 20 million children, 20 million old parents and 47 million women. [click to enlarge]

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

In Duiziliang Town, Dingbian County, Shanxi Province, Xue Pizhong (left), 67-years-old, with his wife Yang Guilan and grandson in their own home (photographed on August 23rd). Xue Pizhong’s family has over 10 members who have left the countryside to find work elsewhere.

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

In Ximawan Village, Jingbian County, Shanxi Province, 61-year-old Wang Guixian (left) and his wife Zhang Shumei in front of their house (photographed on August 24th). Wang Guixian has four children who have left home to find work elsewhere.

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

In Shiping Village, Xunyang County, Shanxi Province, Wu Huiqin and her 2-year-old son are on the clearing near their house (photographed on August 30th). Wu’s husband is out in the city for work.

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

In Dijiahe Village, Baishui County, Shanxi Province, 56-year-old Di Jinsheng and his wife Ju Yulan are in the courtyard in front of the cave dwelling (photographed on August 26th). Di has 6 daughters who have left home either for work in the city or for marriage.

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

In Bailiu Town, Xunyang County, Shanxi Province, Hu Ergui is in the corn field (photographed on August 30th). Hu’s husband and two children are out in the city for work.

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

In Xigu Town, Baishui County, Shanxi Province, 64-year-old Tian Donglin, and his wife sit beside the Luohe River near their home (photographed on August 27th). Tian’s three children have left home for work in the city.

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

In Lingao Town, Baishui County, Shanxi Province, 66-year-old Jiao Shuancheng sits beside the lake near his home (photographed on August 27th). Jiao Shuancheng has three children who have left the village for work in the city.

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

In Shizhuan Town, Ankang City, Shanxi Province, Chen Rongying sits in the field in front of her home (photographed on August 29th). Her husband and two children are out in the city for work.

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

In Liujiezhuang Village, Jingbian County, Shanxi Province, 68-year-old He Ailiang sits on the hilltop near his home (photographed on August 25th). He’s wife has been dead for years, and his three children are out for work in the city.

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

In Ximawan Village, Jingbian County, Shanxi Province, 67-year-old Tian Yunxiu (left) and his 65-year-old wife Liu Dezhen sit beside the buckwheat field (photographed on August 24th). There are 6 chilren in Tian’s family who have left the countryside for work in the city.

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

In Shuanglong Village, Ankang City, Shanxi Province, Cheng Xiaolin sits in the field with his two children (photographed on August 28th). Cheng’s wife has left the village for work in the city.

The people left behind in China's rural countryside: elderly parents, women, and children.

In Bailiu Town, Xunyang County, Shanxi Province, 87-year-old Liu Shuzhen sits beside the rice field in the village (photographed on August 30th). Liu’s husband has passed away, and her son is out in the city for work.

Comments from NetEase:

Today, September 5th, people still have to be left behind/stay behind; people are still limited/restricted by their household registration! Is this what a happy life is supposed to be???

谁是贼 [网易北京市网友]:

Remove “rural migrant workers” these three words, okay? [The title of] “#2 in the world” is wet, because on it is covered with their blood and tears…

0084LOVE越南新娘网 [网易广西南宁市网友]:

I was once one of these children who were left behind. Now it’s my son’s turn. Every year I go home he doesn’t even recognize me, and it hurts a lot…I hate it…

美文化 [网易河南省网友]:

Rural migrant workers… a characteristic of China [whore country]… can be fired/laid off at will…and not be considered unemployed… and can go wherever they wish…without enjoying any state welfare benefits… if you’re interested, click my name… [many of the characters in this comment were intentionally substituted]

你亲爹临死前说 [网易湖南省长沙市网友]:

Young adults would rather abandon their native villages to work away from home than to stay home and plant crops. Sigh~~~ and why is this?

172团团长 [网易河北省保定市网友]:

Caused by blind [government] policies.

楚门界 [网易广东省广州市天河区网友]:

What’s the reason/cause? Everyone already knows in their heart.

月君怡然 [网易江苏省连云港市网友]:

[They, the government] intentionally wants you all to be separated/scattered. You guys can’t be allowed to come together. Even this you can’t see?

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Written by Paul

Paul is an English teacher whose lupine exterior conceals the nature of a real human being. He lives in Chengdu

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