Take proper care of needy kids

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

Re­cent me­dia re­ports on an 8-year-old girl forced to live in a pigsty in a vil­lage of a county in Sichuan prov­ince has ex­posed the le­gal vac­uum in the pro­tec­tion of mi­nors, says an ar­ti­cle in Yangzi Evening News. Ex­cerpts:

The girl, namedXiaozhong, has been liv­ing in a pigsty that be­longs to her men­tally chal­lenged mother since she was an in­fant. The girl was born after her mother was raped by a stranger, and even at the age of 8 she weighs only 7 kilo­grams and can­not speak.

Fac­ing pub­lic crit­i­cism after Xiaozhong’s story be­came pub­lic, the county gov­ern­ment de­fended it­self say­ing it had been of­fer­ing help to the girl and her mother; it claimed to have been giv­ing them min­i­mum liv­ing al­lowance and other sub­si­dies.

The lo­cal gov­ern­ment may have been help­ing the mother-girl duo, but its help­was­note­noughto take care of a girl like Xiaozhong. Xiaozhong is an ex­treme case, and­she is not the only girl (or boy) in China who needs im­me­di­ate and con­stant help.

De­spite not be­ing or­phans, many chil­dren like Xiaozhong need spe­cial care in China. Ac­cord­ing to data re­leased by the chil­dren’s wel­fare re­search cen­ter of Beijing Nor­mal Univer­sity, the num­ber of chil­dren in China who lack proper support is 570,000 to 580,000, com­pared with 615,000 or­phans. Since such chil­dren are not or­phans, they can­not be sent to or­phan­ages where they can get proper food and care.

The pro­tec­tion of mi­nors is not only a house­hold is­sue but also a gov­ern­ment prob­lem. When a child’s par­ents lack the abil­ity to support them, the gov­ern­ment should take over the re­spon­si­bil­ity. Also, the gov­ern­ment should take mea­sures to plug the loop­holes in leg­is­la­tion to pro­tect mi­nors so that chil­dren don’t have to live in pigsties.

The ad­min­is­tra­tive pun­ish­ment given to the head of a lo­cal power sta­tion in He­nan prov­ince for or­der­ing his sub­or­di­nate to sever elec­tric­ity sup­ply to a KTV bar with whose man­ager he had a quar­rel and thus caused a black­out in the en­tire area, is not enough for the abuse of power. A thor­ough probe should be launched to de­ter­mine the proper ex­tent of the pun­ish­ment he de­serves, says an ar­ti­cle on www.huan­qiu.com. Ex­cerpts:

Yang Shusen, the head of a power sta­tion in Qix­ian county in­He­nan had gone to the KTV bar with some friends dur­ing work­ing hours to have some drinks and had a quar­rel with the bar man­ager. After threat­en­ing the man­ager that he would demon­strate the “power of the ‘power tiger’”, he called a sub­or­di­nate at the power sta­tion and or­dered­himto cut off the elec­tric­ity sup­ply to the area for “emer­gency over­haul”.

After an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ci­dent was com­pleted, of­fi­cials de­clared that Yang had been re­moved from his post, his bonus for six months scrapped, and se­ri­ous de­merit points were regis­tered in his per­sonal file.

But the puni­tive mea­sures are not enough for the bla­tant abuse of power by Yang, be­cause the in­ves­ti­ga­tion didn’t take into con­sid­er­a­tion his vi­o­la­tion of State laws. By start­ing a brawl in a KTV bar, a pub­lic place, dur­ing work­ing hours, Yang not only dis­turbed the nor­mal so­cial or­der, but also se­ri­ously com­pro­mised pub­lic in­ter­est by or­der­ing the sev­er­ing of power sup­ply to the bar and its neigh­bor­ing house­holds.

By abus­ing his pow­ers for per­sonal vengeance, Yang vi­o­lated the in­ter­nal man­age­ment norms of the power sta­tion as well as broke State laws, for which he should re­ceive stricter pun­ish­ment. After the in­ves­ti­ga­tion by a higher depart­ment, the rel­e­vant ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties should also start pro­ce­dures for a ju­di­cial probe into the case.

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