‘Mum is my whole world’: finally a home and job for Chinese man caring for paralysed mother for 15 years
- Offers of support flow to dedicated son from social media users moved by his story
- Pair will settle in Chongqing village where work and shelter await
For the past 15 years, a man in southwest China has carried his paralysed mother on his back as he moved from town to town looking for work.
But now the family from Funiu village in Chongqing’s Qijiang district will have a chance at a regular life after learning that a government subsidised house is being built for them, according to state-run People’s Daily.
Wang Xianqiang, 37, has been given a job as a cleaner. “Mum is my whole world,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
His mother, Tian Jinggui, was paralysed by a fall when Wang was 14. His father cared for her until his death in 2003, but the grief-stricken Tian stopped speaking to everyone except her son, the report said.
Wang, who was working in Zhejiang province in the east, returned to Chongqing to care for her and decided to take her with him into the city to find work.
As she suffered carsickness, Wang – who is about 1.5 metres [5 feet ] tall – carried her everywhere on his back.
“I’m willing to accept lower wages,” Wang would tell prospective employers, the newspaper reported. But he would also ask for flexible hours to return home to cook meals for Tian and carry her on walks.
“They thought I was asking for too much,” Wang said.
He found stable employment at a clothing factory after the owner took pity on him in 2015, but the factory only opened for production every six months.
When Wang and Tian returned to Funiu in August while the factory was closed, the village committee decided to help him apply for welfare, as well as give him with a job that allowed him to be close to his mother, People’s Daily reported.
Chinese social media users have also been moved by Wang’s determination to care for his mother, with people on microblogging site Weibo saying they want to donate wheelchairs.
Tian is one of at least 85 million people living with disabilities in China, according to state figures, although human rights organisations estimate the number is closer to 200 million.
While the disabled receive funding from the government, it is often not enough to make ends meet.
Some have turned to the internet to boost their income. Three sisters with brittle bone disease in rural southwest China record themselves singing as well as clips of their daily lives on Kuaishou, one of China’s many live-stream platforms.
A six-year-old girl gained fame last month after videos of her taking care of her paralysed father went viral.