Pedicab Driver Who Donated Earnings to Poor Students Honored

Chinese pedicap driver Bai Fangli, spent 10 years of his life earning money to put poor children through school.

From CCTV’s Sina Weibo account:

Today, we pay tribute to an elderly man! Repost!

At the age of 74, he decided to work as a pedicab driver to financially support impoverished students, and once he started, it lasted more than ten years. With 350,000 yuan, he realized the dream of attending school for more than 300 poor students. One winter, he handed 500 yuan he kept in a lunch box to a teacher: “I am getting too old for this, and might not be able to donate anymore. This is the last of my money.” [悲伤] He is Bai Fangli. Bai Fangli died at the age of 92. Today [June 17th] is his birthday, salute!

Comments from Sina Weibo:


When he [Bai Fangli] was alive, you [CCTV] seldom reported about his touching deeds. For your “Touching China” awards you preferred to give honors to some leader’s stupid wife, to an ordinary government official, to specchlessly some general’s wife, but all along refused to them to a truly selfless Chinese old man! Now that the old man has died, you commemorate his birthday and celebrate his anniversary!? For whom are you putting on this hypocritical “show?”


Dignified CCTV, what is the purpose of sharing this post??? Is it to set a good example? Is it so that everyone can learn from this elderly man??? [Bai Fangli] was a great and noble man. But what are our party and state doing? Isn’t allowing poor students to get schooling the task of the party and government?? Why are they using this to shift responsibility [from the party and the state to the common people]? Amid all the praise for Bai Fangli, why is no one questioning the inaction of the party and state [to deal with this problem]?


“I touched the whole of China, but was unable to touch the jury of ‘Touching China’”.


CCTV, you have the face to say this? Bai Fangli was twice among the nominated candidates for CCTV’s “Touching China” awards, but was not selected on either occasions. In 2004 Bai Fangli ranked third in the online voting, after Liu Xiang and Ren Zhangxia, but was ultimately eliminated by the judging committee. After his death in 2005, he was nominated again in that year’s “Touching China”, but, once again, was not chosen. Not until 2008 was he given a so-called “Special Award”.


In 2004 Bai Fangli lost to Liu Xiang and others. In 2005, he lost to “Space Hero” Fei Junlong and others. Admittedly, “Touching China” paid a tribute to him in 2012 and granted him formal recognition, but back in 2004 how did Liu Xiang “touch” China more than Bai Fangli? “Touching China” – the more touching the story is, the more shamed they [referring to Chinese government] are. [That is because] touching stories expose the cruel facts of holes in the system and shortcomings in social security. [Bai Fangli] touched everyone’s hearts, but he couldn’t touch CCTV, and this is what “Touching China” is like.


An old man doing the government’s job, is a slap to whose face?


CCTV dares to post this? Everyone says that students are the country’s future. [China is] a great country, and yet its future [referring to the students] relies on financial support from the elderly? And yet you have the face to post this? Isn’t it your job [to ensure that poor students can go to school]? And in such a large country, there are so many kids who cannot [afford to] go to school, shouldn’t you [referring to CCTV] reflect on this?! Really?!


You have the nerve to post this? CCTV, are you not ashamed? Why wasn’t this elderly man awarded as one of the “10 great people who touched China”??? It’s just because he doesn’t have a wire-puller [as opposed to other powerful candidates who received awards] or some other reason? I had seen this old man’s touching deeds even before [the awards show], and I was outraged by this injustice. There are so many corrupt officials in China, and compared to the deeds of this old man, the impression we are left with is that the government is incompetent! Corrupt!!!


Hehe, back then wasn’t your show “Touching China” unwilling to award this man?


There will always be common yet extraordinary people to remind us that there is still conscience in our society.


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