Stepping up to help his sister

By WANG HUAZHONG (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-03-16 06:57
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Stepping up to help his sister
Zhang Fuping, a 26-year-old handicapped man, sells newspapers and magazines in an underground passage at Linjiang Gate in Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality.[Zhou Ke/For China Daily]

Man recovers his own life through assisting sibling

BEIJING: For Zhang Fuping, helping his sister through college has been a way to get back on his feet.

Zhang, 26, was a teenager when he fell onto a railway track and a train ran over his left leg. He dropped out of school after the accident, and tried many times to commit suicide after his leg was "taken away so horrifically", he said.

It was only 10 years later, when he found out his sister was going to college, that Zhang managed to mentally recover from the ordeal.

"I had made a promise to her that if she was ever admitted to a college, I would try everything possible to sponsor her," Zhang said.

He now sells newspapers and magazines in an underground passage at Linjiang Gate in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality.

"I get a sense of fulfillment every time I remit money to her. It reminds me that I have not let my family down and that I'm still useful," Zhang told China Daily.

Zhang's parents, from Dongpo district in Sichuan's Meishan city, were laid off when he was young and have been living in their hometown with help from their social security fund.

To save food for the family, Zhang left home and became a vagrant, wandering in the streets of Chongqing and Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, in 2004.

"At that time, I was only concerned about filling my stomach I abandoned dignity," Zhang said of those desperate times.

It was his sister's acceptance into a normal university in Chengdu in 2006 that changed him.

To earn money for his sister's education, Zhang works late into the night, standing with the help of a stick to hand out the publications to customers.

He sends most of his earnings to his sister - up to 500 yuan a month- while being stingy on himself.

Zhang said he is now content with life, having found a place in the big city.

"Respect yourself and you will also find people looking at you differently," Zhang said.

"I no longer get the kind of sympathetic, or scornful, look that people might have for beggars. It's a look moved and inspired by me," he said.

"Disabled or not, as long as you don't give up on yourself, you will get recognition and respect from others."