The large number of left-behind kids is a unique phenomenon in today’s Chinese society. As millions of migrant workers go into cities to make a living, their children are left behind in rural villages, mostly living on their own.
China’s left-behind children learn to take care of themselves at an early age:
The lack of attentive care and necessary supervision by their parents has made the left-behind children “easy targets” for crimes like sexual assault and harassment. Also, the long-term separation from their parents emotionally torments the young children. The deaths in 2012 of five abandoned boys in a dumpster in Guizhou raised a lot of concerns over left-behind kids. The five boys died of carbon-monoxide poisoning after lighting a fire in the dumpster—which was their shelter and home.
Recently, another tragedy of left-behind kids happened in the same city of Guizhou. On the night of June 9, four children were found dead in their home in Guizhou Province. The one boy and his three sisters were left behind in the poor village, without any proper care. They committed suicide together by drinking pesticide. The oldest boy was 13 years old, while his youngest sister was only 5.
Villager Zhang Shigui is the brother of the four children’s father. When he discovered the four kids, they were already lying on the ground next to an empty pesticide bottle. The villagers immediately called the police, but it was too late.
The villagers told the reporter from The Paper News that the father of the four children left home for work at the beginning of this year, and the mother was abducted and trafficked three years ago. Their grandparents had either passed away or were too old to take care of the children.
According to Zhang, the four children had dropped out of school because they had no money. The only food for them was the corn that was planted by their father last year. The four children ground the corn into cornmeal, and didn’t even have a sieve to sift out the coarse grain.
Diaries of left-behind children.
Zhang told the reporter that while the four children were still alive, they were good children who never caused trouble to other people, even though they were poor.
The four children’s bodies were sent to the funeral parlor.
The phone number left by their father has never been answered.