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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Hardscrabble life for orphan and 'mom'

By He Dan and Huang Zhaohua (China Daily)

08:48, January 04, 2012

Huang Jinlian, 75, sits with Wu Tiansheng, 7, at her home in Qinzhou, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, in December. Tiansheng was an infant when Huang found him abandoned in a cardboard box, and she took him back home to live with her. Huang Zhaohua / China Daily

Scrap collector didn't register child, causing legal problems

QINZHOU, Guangxi - Wu Tiansheng rushed to pick up an empty soft-drink bottle a passer-by dropped at a busy city square in Qinzhou, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and handed it to his 75-year-old "mother".

Wu, 7, spends his days helping Huang Jinlian, his "mother", search through trash to collect recyclables.

Huang, a widow, said one summer day in 2005, she and her husband found Wu, an infant with a cleft lip, abandoned in a cardboard box near an alley.

"No one on the street knew the baby or was willing to help, so my husband and I decided to take him home," said Huang, whose claim cannot be independently verified.

Since her husband, her second, passed away last year, Huang has struggled to raise the boy on a monthly income of about 600 yuan ($95) - half of it from a government subsidy, 200 yuan from scrap collecting and 100 yuan from leasing a 20-square-meter apartment her husband left.

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