New Delhi: If you thought your life is tough, it is time to pause and think. Is it really? Because few kids in a Chinese village put their lives at risk almost daily for education. In the Atuler village in Sichuan province of southwest China, children as young as six years old have to scale a deadly cliff of 800 metres. The trek takes 90 minutes and all that the children have to their support is a rickety ladder.
An award-winning Beijing News photographer Chen Jie took pictures of these kids, which went viral earlier this week. The kids are forced to stay away from their families and they visit twice a month, through 17 ladders-paths which are deadly in the truest way. Speaking about what he witnessed, Chen wrote in his piece;
“There is no doubt I was shocked by the scene I saw in front of me.”
- The trek takes 90 minutes.
- All that the children have to their support is a rickety ladder
- Children as young as six years old have to scale a deadly cliff of 800 metres.
- Many villagers have lost their lives climbing the deadly mountain.
“There is no doubt I was shocked by the scene I saw in front of me,”
Chen told the Guardian.
Media reports suggest that about 72 families live in this isolated village of China and the ladder made of bamboo and secured to a sheer cliff face; is their only way to commute. The villagers belong to the Yi minority group and survive mainly by farming potatoes, walnuts and chili peppers. The village chief revealed that there was insufficient space in their village for a school and that many villagers have lost their lives climbing the deadly mountain.
Heartbreaking photos of kids, with backpacks and a couple of adults accompanying them as forced the government to look into the matter. The news made it to the headlines and a team of Zhaojue county government's transport, education and environmental protection departments traveled to the area on Wednesday to assess safer alternatives. The village might soon get a solid steel of stairs, said reports.
The condition of the kids brings out the difference between an otherwise prosperous China and the China that remains mired in poverty.