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City tramps cared for in China's extreme snowy weather
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08:28, February 02, 2008

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As Chinese are combating the worst snowy weather in a half-century, which has killed 60 people and caused widespread transport chaos, a special group of people, tramps in cities, have not been forgotten.

"I would not be alive now but for the help from the government," said Li Qunying, a woman tramp who is getting treatment in a hospital in Changsha, capital of central Hunan Province, the worst-hit area in the country.

Li, who came from Sichuan Province, fell sick and wandered in snow without food for four days. She was found lying in a trade market on Tuesday and sent to hospital immediately.

Changsha aiding stations for tramps have provided food and medical care to more than 400 homeless people in the city in the past two weeks, said Huang Zhimou, a station official.

"More than one third of the tramps in the station had mental problems. It is hard for aiding staff to communicate with them," said Xu Zhiqiang, head of an aiding station for the homeless in Guiyang, capital of southwestern Guizhou Province.

The station has received more than 460 homeless, providing each of them cotton-padded clothes and meals.

"We find as much space as possible for them to sleep, help the mentally disabled to pull on clothes and keep a close eye on them in case they take their clothes off."

For those who preferred lying outside to living in the station, aid workers had to give up persuasion and left them some clothes and food, according to Xu.

"But we are trying our best," he said. "Our minimum goal is no deaths."

Source: Xinhua

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