Kids left alone re­quire govt care

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - A BOX­ING CLUB IN CHENGDU

in South­west China’s Sichuan prov­ince has re­port­edly adopted over 400 or­phans and left-be­hind chil­dren and is train­ing them to be fight­ers. Changjiang Daily com­mented on Thurs­day:

Some agree with the owner who says that the unat­tended kids are bet­ter off at the club as they at least have enough “beef and eggs” rather than taste­less “pota­toes” on their plate.

But in truth, that ar­gu­ment does not hold up be­cause there is al­ways a third op­tion for the chil­dren be­sides lit­er­ally fight­ing for a liv­ing or starv­ing at home, and that is of­fi­cial as­sis­tance. The lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in the kids’ home­towns have a duty to sup­port the chil­dren and en­sure they are prop­erly ed­u­cated, fed and cared for.

The ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials in Liang­shan Yi au­ton­o­mous pre­fec­ture, which is home to some of the young fight­ers at the Chengdu club, said they will get the young­sters back into school where they be­long. But the young­sters may refuse to go home,

as other res­cued par­ent­less or left-be­hind kids from the pre­fec­ture have done over the past decade.

Asked about why they do not want to go home or go to school, some of the chil­dren replied that work­ing or fight­ing is a bet­ter choice be­cause they will at least have some money and proper food. Sim­i­lar an­swers to that ques­tion are usu­ally the re­sponse given by or­phans and guardian­less chil­dren in ru­ral China, high­light­ing the need for more ef­fec­tive govern­ment ef­forts to take care of unat­tended youths.

The Liang­shan ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­i­ties were among the first to re­spond to the re­ports of the un­der­age fight club. But just get­ting the kids back will not be enough to make them stay.

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