75-year-old volunteer helps keep Tian'anmen neat

Updated: 2011-10-20 16:10


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75-year-old volunteer helps keep Tian'anmen neat

Tourists observe Liu Yuzhen as she bends down to pick up garbage at Tian'anmen Square. "They will watch their public behavior after seeing my effort," says Liu, Oct 20. [Photo/Beijing Times]

Liu Yuzhen, 75, has been committed to voluntary service since 1994 — picking up garbage on Tian'anmen Square every day, Beijing Times reports on Thursday.

For 17 years, Liu has scarcely been absent from this duty, and the garbage she has picked up may pile up to hundreds of tons. Once she even picked up thousands of cigarette butts in one day.

Liu says Tian'anmen represents the capital city of China, and it would be disgraceful if the square looked messy for over 40 million tourists who visit every day. She thinks of it as her obligation to clean up the "home" of her heart.

Garbage is produced constantly due to the circulation of tourists, so volunteers like Liu are needed to help the sanitation workers. Security guards and sanitation workers affectionately call her "the voluntary cosmetologist of Tian'anmen Square".

At such an age, it is inevitable to have some health problems. The comforting news is that the amount of garbage is on the decline. Liu hopes that the level of people's social morality is so greatly improved that she can finally retire one day.

75-year-old volunteer helps keep Tian'anmen neat

Liu stretches her arms and legs while taking a rest, Oct 20. [Photo/Beijing Times]

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