‘Ice boy’ stirs poverty debate in China as donations pour in for needy students

Wang Fuman, a primary school student in southwest Yunnan province, gained the moniker “Frost Boy” after his principal shared a photo online of his rosy cheeks and icy hair, Chinese media reported this week. According to the state-owned China News Service agency, the teacher who took the photo said it generally takes Wang more than an hour to make the 4.5km journey from his home to the school. The temperature was -9 degrees Celsius the day the photo was taken, China News Service reported. Other photos online appeared to show Wang’s chapped and swollen hands atop a near-perfect exam sheet. Following news of his plight, donations have flooded in to help the school, which reportedly does not have heating due to the lack of funding. The provincial foundation had collected about 300,000 yuan (US$46,300) as of Wednesday afternoon. Each student will individually receive 500 yuan (US$77) to help them stay warm in winter.  According to China Daily, donations have now reached more than 17 million yuan (US$2.61 million). The report added that the boy’s father has also received a job offer in his hometown in Yunnan province from a construction company.  The plight of “left-behind children” like Wang, whose parents work in cities while their children stay behind in the village with siblings and grandparents, has been hotly discussed in recent years. “We still haven’t done enough work to help the poor,” one commenter on the Twitter-like Weibo platform said. Another user noted: “China has a lot of kids like this.” Poverty… [Read full story]

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