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China: Around The Nation

Chinese homeless man reunited with family after decade on streets

Wang Rong recognises his mother from scar on her hand in face-to-face meeting after Dongguan voluntary workers use village computer network to trace her

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 February, 2017, 3:39pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 February, 2017, 3:39pm

A Chinese homeless man has been reunited with his family a decade after he left them for a life on the streets, mainland media reported.

Wang Rong, a native of Hunan province, was found loitering in a park in Dongguan, southern Guangdong province, by voluntary workers on Sunday, the news website Sina.com reported.

He could not recall his exact home address when asked to do so by the volunteers from a Shenzhen non-profit organisation that helps homeless people track down their relatives.

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However, he managed to locate his home village using a special computer system that connects villages across the nation.

When the volunteers contacted village officials in Xupu county, Hunan, through the system, they managed to contact Wang’s younger brother, who was able to identify him.

Upon learning that Wang had been traced, his mother, Zhang Huanying, immediately took the 15-hour train ride to Dongguan to meet her son, the report said.

However, when mother and son met for the first time after 10 years, he was unable to recognise her face.

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It was only when Zhang clasped her son’s hand that Wang felt a scar on her hand and recognised his mother by that mark, the report said.

Wang said the scar triggered memories of him as a child, including witnessing his mother accidentally injuring herself with a knife.

At that point, he had realised Zhang was his mother, Wang said.

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The mother told reporters that family circumstances had led to Wang dropping out of school as a teenager and leaving home to head to Dongguan to eke out a living.

But after Wang broke up with his girlfriend in 2006, he became disoriented and started living on the streets, according to the report.

He had last called home in 2008 and his family had not heard from him again until Sunday, the report said.