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China Daily Website

Village hopes to thwart more elderly suicides

Updated: 2013-12-13 20:00

A remote village in Central China's Hunan province has been the topic of great concern from locals after it came out that five elderly residents had committed suicide in the past eight years, Huasheng online reported.

But according to Yang Qingyuan, a Kongdong villager from Huajiang township in Taojiang county, suicide is a way to free themselves as the elderly villagers did not want to become a burden to their children.

“The elderly who committed suicide were more than 70 years old, and many had been ill for years,” Yang said.

To prevent people from killing themselves, local officials are hoping relevant government departments will hike their pension and healthcare packages while urging their children to regularly check on their elderly parents.

Many of the seniors lacked money to afford daily necessities, village officials said.

Young women in the village said they hope that a factory could be set up so they can work during the day and look after their parents at night, as most of the young male farmers have left to find jobs.

The elderly, however, are hoping that a free community center where they can read newspapers, play cards and listen to the radio can be built in their village.

“And it would be even better if a canteen could be built, too,” they said.