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Impoverished young beggar girl used by father to earn sympathy, money

(People's Daily Online)    13:45, October 27, 2016

Ji Honghong begs on the street while simultaneously doing homework under a quilt on the streets of Linyi. (Photo/Qilu Evening News)

Recently, photos showing a young girl begging on the street while simultaneously doing homework under a quilt on the streets of Linyi, Shandong province, have attracted the attention of many Internet users. Netizens have expressed their willingness to help the girl. Meanwhile, the man in the photos, who appears to be the girl's father, has been widely condemned. So what's the real story behind the photo? A reporter from Qilu Evening News went to investigate on Oct. 25.

The reporter visited the two subjects of the photos in Wangnanzhuang Village in Linyi's Linshu County. Wang Jiuchang, the man in the photos, confirmed that the girl, Ji Honghong, is in fact his daughter. He also has a son who is in junior high school and lives with his grandparents. According to Wang, his wife has a mental illness, so he has had to bring his daughter with him when he goes begging since the girl was only 1 month old. They have begged in many cities.

Ji Honghong, now 6, is currently in first grade. She studies in a local primary school. However, on weekends, her father brings her around the city to beg.

A neighbor told the reporter, “The girl is the biggest selling point of Wang’s ‘begging business.’ Wang is lazy. He can earn more money through begging than farming.”

Many neighbors gave the same appraisal of Wang, commenting that he is lazy. The village Communist Party chief told the reporter that Ji Honghong is a clever child. However, her family has exerted some bad influence on her.

“If Wang Jiuchang said yes, I would be willing to take care of the child instead,” the chief said.

A local official said that Ji Honghong is not an orphan, so they have to let Wang Jiuchang raise his own child. However, they will try to keep him from taking the girl to beg. 

Ji Honghong and his father beg on the street. (Photo/Qilu Evening News)

Ji Honghong and his father beg on the street. (Photo/Qilu Evening News)

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kong Defang, Bianji)

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