Monday, October 02, 2006

The Death of Yang Dan


The story has no eye-catching plot. A little girl Yang Dan(in white coat standing in the front) suffered from heart disease died after her parents failed to raise money for the surgery.

However, the heartbreaking details could sicken any reader: the girl was in Beijing, a city of 10 million with per capita GDP of $4000. Local residents not only refused to help, but they also tried to stop other people offering a hand because they believed all beggars were cheaters. Many fund raising events had been held. Many charities had been contacted. Many people had been involved. In the end the 7 years old girl died. She could have been saved if a critical surgery could have been performed.

The cost of the surgery? A mere 20,000 RMB, or $2,500.

No price tag should be attached to a human life. But I have to admit, if it were $25,000 or some amount that out of reach of 'ordinary' people, I myself might have been less disturbed. This $2,500 killed any confidence left of the Beijing people, as well as the government of course.

sources: Autumn - For a Girl in My Memory

Grace China is a website set up by Mr. Zhang Renjie, the author and photographer of the article referred above. Living a poverty live himself, Mr. Zhang committed on a mission to help other underprivileged people. From a 5 square meters rented room /office in Beijing, he helped many.

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