Thousands of Yinchuan residents mobilise to find four-year-old girl’s hearing aid

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 November, 2013, 2:17pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 November, 2013, 2:59pm

Thousands of citizens have mobilised in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region to help a four-year-old migrant girl find her lost hearing aid.

The girl was born with sensorineural hearing loss and was only able to hear for the first time at the beginning of the year after her parents saved enough money to buy her a pair of expensive hearing aids.

But the girl lost one of them in the street last Sunday, The Beijing News reported. The hearing aids work in pairs – without one, the other becomes ineffective. Her family would have had to pay 280,000 yuan (HK$354,000) for a new device and the girl would have had to endure surgery to replace an internal part of the device.

Anxious to find the lost device, the girl’s father posted a request for help on a social networking website and reported the loss to the police, the newspaper said.

His post instantly went viral, drawing attention among the city’s online communities. Several city government microblogs also helped to spread the message, appealing for members of the public to help look for the device.

“Click your mouse to support. Repost to help,” one blogger wrote when reposting the message.

At the same time, notices were posted on some 1,500 buses in the city, alerts appeared on television news programmes aired on buses and all taxi drivers and street sweepers were asked to watch out for the lost device.

Song Guoqiang, the girl’s father, said he received more than a hundred calls offering help.

The efforts of thousands of people in the city proved worthwhile. On Friday, after 114 hours of searching, the device was found with the help of an elderly begger. Netizens around the country hailed the satisfactory conclusion.

Entire towns in China have helped individuals in similar events in the past.

When a goose hawker in the western city of Urumqi, whose wife was suffereing from leukemia, sought help online two years ago, his sales increased tenfold as fellow citizens showed support.

Earlier this year, after a small restaurant owner in Henan province was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of malignant tumour, and appealed for help online, his revenue rose and he accumulated enough money to pay his medial expenses within a month.