A blogger in China posted an article on the Internet accompanied by a series of photos of a 15-year-old girl’s life—a girl who has been praised as “the most sensible girl born in the 1990s.”
Her name is Zhang Qianqian, and she has to work in a brickyard in Guizou City 12 hours a day during summer vacation, while taking care of her younger sister and little twin brothers. Zhang’s story proves an old Chinese saying: "Kids from poor families become breadwinners earlier."
One blogger responded to the photos, “Life is not easy. As young as the girl is, she can’t enjoy her summer vacation, but has to work hard to reduce the burden on her parents.”
Many others also expressed their sympathy. One wrote, “How bitter it is! I can’t help being in tears when seeing the photos. It reminded me of my childhood in a rural area.”
According to the author of the article and photos, the photos were taken in a 20-plus-year-old brickyard in the rural area of southern Jiangsu Province. Laborers there work from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and take only a short rest at noon.
The girl in the photos has to pull a cart to ship bricks while taking care of her little siblings who are playing beside her. Workers can earn about 30 yuan (approximately US$4.40) a day for shipping bricks.
The author said that he did not intend to earn money from these photos. Doing so might provoke the boss to fire the girl.
Brickyards and child labor have become sensitive topics after the media unveiled that many child slave laborers have been used by illegal brick companies in China in recent years.
Read the original Chinese article.