Dreams of the disabled

(Xinhua) 08:16, March 04, 2022

Students practice class-break setting-up exercise at the special education school in Yichun City of east China's Jiangxi Province, Dec. 28, 2021. (Xinhua/Peng Zhaozhi)

BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Wang Yani, a young deaf-mute in north China's Inner Mongolia Automonous Region, is thankful to a man for her achievements.

"Grandpa Xi, I have made my teacher-dream come true!" Wang wrote in a letter in 2019 to Chinese President Xi Jinping five years after they first met. All these years, she has been thankful for the inspiration and encouragement from Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Wang was abandoned as an infant and grew up in a welfare home for orphans and disabled children in the city of Hohhot.

At the children's home, she was surrounded by a loving, supportive family of staff and her fellow wards. It was there that the seeds of an idea grew in the little girl's heart: she wanted to be a teacher.

Her dream seemed out of reach until a "special guest" visited in 2014.

On a cold winter day ahead of the Chinese New Year, Xi came to the home. He shook hands with the staff, watched the children rehearse, and interacted with the children.

"'Thumb ups' means 'good' and bending it is 'thank you'." Xi smiled as he learned some simple sign language from Wang. A photograph of this moment is still on Wang's desk today. Before he left, Xi encouraged the girl to study hard to achieve her goal.

After attending a beauty school, Wang returned to where she had finished her basic education -- Hohhot special education school -- to be a teacher at the end of 2018.

In her letter to Xi, Wang said she would pass on the skills she had learned to other children with hearing and visual impairments so they too could go out into the world and serve the society.

Torchbearers hand on the flame during the Beijing 2022 Paralymic Torch Relay and Flame Lighting Ceremony at the Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing, capital of China, March 2, 2022. (Xinhua/Xia Yifang)

This echoes Xi's view, "Not a single person with disabilities should be left behind when China has completed the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects."

"If people with a sound physical condition can have a brilliant life, people with disabilities can do likewise," Xi told residents of a paraplegic rehabilitation center in Tangshan, north China's Hebei Province, which was hit by a horrific earthquake in 1976, during a visit in 2016.

Xi's words echoed China's promise as host of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, which was "the two Olympic Games shall be equally brilliant." Now, the country is committed to the same goal for the 2022 Winter Paralympics.

The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will be held from March 4 to 13, with athletes pushing their physical and mental limits. With tremendous courage and perseverance, many people living with disabilities will have their dreams come true. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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