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Edit Title:[HugChina] Investigation into Child Beggars Coming from Minxian Beggar Village
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Bernd Chang
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Among the hundreds of beggars coming from Minxian County (岷县) of Gansu Province, the pillar and majority is children. There are several famous 'beggar villages' in Minxian County. Among them the Xiaozhai Village (小寨村), Hulong Village (虎龙村) are most wellknown in China. Almost every adult in the beggar villages has ever been beggar.

Jonathan Lee wrote a song Hope for his children. It is sung in the song: “They are my hope,let me have strength for continuing my effort,they are the hope of the future,all the children are equal,I wish I could give her a place like heaven.” But the children in my picture have a quite different fate.

Among the hundreds of beggars coming from Minxian County (岷县) of Gansu Province, the pillar and majority is children. There are several famous "beggar villages" in Minxian County. Among them the Xiaozhai Village (小寨村), Hulong Village (虎龙村) are most wellknown in China. Almost every adult in the beggar villages has ever been beggar.

After long period of contact with the beggars,I find that only half of the child beggars are begging with their parents,the other half, rented by adult beggars and used as tools for making money,are professional beggars.

The number of Minxian beggars in Shenyang,capital of northeastern China’s Liaoning Province,was once more than 100.Some of them are members of a single family: grandparents,parents and children; Some are relatives.From spring to winter,their figures are always in the sight. Especially the child beggars on the streets,who should have sit in the classroom,are brought by adults to the remote city to kneel down begging money. What is more serious,many child beggars were rented at the price of 300 RMB per month. But the boss demanded that the child beggar should hand in 110 RMB per day, otherwise the child would not be given the meal, and very likely, would be whipped. Many leased child beggars are black and blue on the body.The child beggars usually start to “work” at 7am, and “get off duty” at 10pm. If the task is not complished, they will have to “work” even longer. It is a gnawing pain to see that some child beggars wander on the streets for 15 hours a day.

The little child beggars have to shuttle back and forth among the running cars and trucks no matter it is in hot summer or in frozen winter. They are often chided, insulted and beaten. When begging, they have to keep vigilant watching around. At any sight of the police, they will run away as fast as they can, regardless of the dangers caused by the running autos.It is not seldom that child beggars are knocked down, rolled over to death by cars. Some beggars can not endure the insult and beat by their parents or boss and flee away and lose contact. Some lost children could be abducted and sold to other provinces. Due to hundreds or even thousands of kneel per day, it is not surprising that many child beggars have wounds and scabs on the kneels.

It is a bitter sight that the naïve and pure children, who should have enjoyed the happy life in the sun, played games with their parents, shoulder the burden unproportionate to their age, kneeling down to beg money from foreign persons without any dignity. The happy childhood that they deserve is deprived in this way. They still have no notion of money, but the experience of begging has already been deeply ingrained on their memory.

Author of this article and pictures: Tian Weitao.

Translated by Bernd Chang.

5200110-child-beggar-18-800x533.jpg



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Bernd Chang
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It is common sight on the streets in many Chinese cities that child beggars kneel down begging with their head bowed. Some beg alone, some beg with adults. They should have been enjoying love and care of their parents, but now they are tools of adults for making money.

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Bernd Chang
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The kneels belong to a 13 years old child beggar. He has to kneel down for thousand times under the supervision of adults. The scabs and wounds are easily seen from the worn-out jens.

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Bernd Chang
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As offsprings of the beggar village of Minxian County, they have no choice but to beg since they were born. In the rented room of less than 10 square meters, more than 10 Minxian beggars live with their children.

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Bernd Chang
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Most of the children were their own children. Few of them were leased from their parents. More children, more income. Beggars usually escape from Chinese one-child policy and have more children.

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Bernd Chang
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Child beggars have to "work" for more than 14 hours a day. On daybreak, the still sleeping child beggar were waked by the adult to go to "work".

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Bernd Chang
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Led by the woman beggars, child beggars are on the way to beg.

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Bernd Chang
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On the frozen snowing day, two children forced to beg by adults were trembling. Some child beggars are more wretched. Not led by adults, they are expelled to the streets to beg by their own. In the evening they are required to hand in the money.

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Bernd Chang
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The little child beggar, daring not to extend his hand, was pushed by the adult from behind.

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Bernd Chang
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Within several days, the child beggar leaned how to beg.

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Bernd Chang
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On prosperous commercial streets, a child beggar grasped the leg of a city resident while the three adult encouraged in the dark.

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Bernd Chang
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City residents have no choice but to escape at the sight of child beggar.

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Bernd Chang
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The situation of the child beggar is more worrying. In the picture, a child beggar tried to risk his life to run away from a police car but was tumbled down.

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Bernd Chang
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Six years old Wugu was scared to run away when he saw a car with alarm lamp which he thought to be a police car. He was knocked down by another car and became unconscious.

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Bernd Chang
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14 years old Gaqiang had not begged any money and was chided by his boss on the street.

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Bernd Chang
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Haqiang and Gaqiang are brothers and their parents were both dead. His uncle then leased them at the price of 300 RMB per month to an adult beggar who brought them to Shenyang to beg. Although they kneel as many as thousand times per day, they can not beg enough money as required by their boss. As a punishment, their boss frequently starve them.

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Bernd Chang
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10 years old Dong Xia (pseudonym) was once an excellent pupil, as testified by the certificate of award on the wall. However, she could not help but to obey when her parents forced her to beg in Shenyang.

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Bernd Chang
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The child beggars compare with each other to see who have begged more money.

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Bernd Chang
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3 years old child beggar begged several dozen more RMB for his mother and was rewarded with a bowl of nuddle. They are a group of children, living on begging. Forced by the beggar leader or even their own parents, the child beggars have no notion of dignity. Their faces that should have expressed naivity and purity,are covered with numbness and vicissitudes。Follow the lens of photographer, you will be informed of the rarely known inside survival story of the child beggars.

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Bernd Chang
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In the evening the beggar boss drinks with his fellow villager. He does not care when the child beggars come back. There is no meal for the child beggars but each has to hand in 10 RMB at least.

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Bernd Chang
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A child and adult beggar eat food left behind by city residents.

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