CHINA / National

Hu appeals for more care for orphans
Updated: 2006-06-01 06:31

President Hu Jintao yesterday spent some time with disabled youngsters and orphans on the eve of Children's Day while Premier Wen Jiabao also spoke with students.

President Hu chats to an intellectually-challenged (cerebral palsy) girl and her teacher at Beijing Children's Welfare Institute yesterday, on the eve of International Children's Day. Hu taught children to make zongzi, traditional glutinous rice dumplings wrapped leaves prepared for the Dragon Boat Festival. "They are the weakest and neediest group in society. They need the most care and love," he said. [Xinhua]

At the Beijing Children's Welfare Institute, Hu taught children to make zongzi glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and eaten to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. In a classroom for handicapped kids, he was greeted with a paper-cut flower made by eight-year-old Nan Nan, a mentally-challenged girl who is learning how to talk and walk.

Holding her, Hu said the government should improve facilities to assist disabled children and orphans. "They are the weakest and neediest group in society," he said. "They need the most care and love."

The president thanked institute teachers for their contributions to the development of special education. He also visited Xisibei Kindergarten and urged school teachers to teach the kids to love, study and become builders of the country.

Meanwhile, Wen was busy with pupils in a Beijing elementary school. He sent an e-mail greeting to children in Tibet thousands of kilometers away. At Shijia Elementary School, Wen was greeted with applause from more than 400 pupils from 10 urban and rural primary schools around the capital.

Ding Yawen tied a red scarf symbol of the children's organization Young Pioneers around Wen's neck. In a computer class, Wen wrote greetings to pupils at No. 3 Elementary School in Lhasa, capital of Tibet, and sent an e-mail, saying, "Study hard, grow up healthy and contribute to the country."

Marking the Dragon Boat Festival, Wen also made zongzi with the children. He watched an exquisite student performance and urged them to always study hard and prepare for the country's massive modernization drive. "It depends on us and you to achieve modernization and common prosperity in both urban and rural regions. But ultimately, it is up to you."

Also, the country wants to provide free medical treatment to 30,000 handicapped orphans within three years. The "Tomorrow Plan," funded by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, a three-year project that started in 2004, aims to give 30,000 handicapped orphans free operations. There are approximately 66,000 orphans and abandoned babies living in welfare homes nationwide. About half of them are disabled.


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