Abandoned Children Survive Suicide Pact

July 9, 2010 Updated: July 9, 2010

After attempting suicide, five elementary school students have been successfully rescued in China’s Shaanxi province. The sixth-graders from Xinglin County’s Fufeng township drank poison together in the morning of July 3. Local villagers passing by saw the youngsters and took them to the hospital.

Three were examined and sent home while two are out of danger after receiving treatment. Four of them are “left-behind” children, whose parents are migrant workers.

Pediatrics Department Vice-director Lin Zhanyuan, who was involved with the rescue, said that the children had drunk a softdrink mixed with poison. Chemical examination showed that the poison was a herbicide, according to a Chinese Business Review report.

After the incident, all the youngsters refused to speak to the media. Mr. Ma Dehuai, who lives in the same village, said that according to his investigation, five kids went to Xiaohua(alias)’s home to celebrate her birthday on July 2. Xiaohua's mother went out to visit a relative and her father was working outside of the township. After drinking two packs of beer, the five kids went out.

The children talked all night long at a local temple and decided to commit suicide together, said Ma. Two of them swallowed half of a bottle of unidentified poison mixed with a soft drink while three others spat it out.

One of the children’s mother said her husband works out of town. She doesn’t know the quality of her child’s performance at school as she cannot read. When asked the reason why the child would drink poison, the mother became silent.

The mother of another boy in the attempted suicide said that she and the child’s father all work in other cities but returned after the incident. Of the remaining three children who attempted suicide, only one of them have parents at home. The other two are also “left-behind” rural children.

Child Left Alone Picks Vegetables

Nanfang Daily recently conducted some research on these "left-behind" children. In Tanglou Primary School , Liannan County, Guangdong province, there are 64 of them. One of the children is 11 year old Chen Fuxian. Her parents work in Foshan city. Her eldest sister and the third sister study in boarding school, while the second sister works out of town. The tile-roofed house where she lives is almost falling apart. Since the floor is made of dirt, it turns to mud after a rain, trapping the residents’ shoes. Chen goes to a creek to wash her clothes every day after school and goes to a field to pick some vegetables, planted by her uncle, to cook. Besides this, she needs to do all the housework. She has no legal guardian, either.

There are 80 “left-behind” children in Heng Gang Primary School, Maoming city, Guangdong province. Fourteen year old Lin Xincheng lives with his grandpa and grandma and only sees his parents once a year. During the day he has companions to play with so he doesn’t miss his parents too much. However when he is in bed at night it’s a different story. “When I cannot fell asleep I feel very lonely. I especially miss my dad. Sometimes I cry holding my blanket,” said Lin.

According to a Research Report of the Education Problem for the Left-Behind Children in the Rural Areasby the All-China Woman’s Federation, 30 percent of the 5.8 million left behind children have psychological problem and 45 percent of them “feel lonely”.

Read original Chinese article.