At the starting of January, a Chinese boy Wang Fuman walked more than 3 miles at 15°F, in a light coat, and without a hat, to take his exam.
When he entered the classroom, his classmates started laughing. He was covered in ice, his eyebrows and his hair were covered in ice and his cheeks were red because of the cold. The teacher clicked a photo of Wang and posted it online. After that, the boy became popular all around the world: thousands of people shared his photo and his story went viral.
8-year-old Wang lives with his grandmother and sister, in a small village in the Chinese province of Yúnnán.
His mother left his family and his father works far from home and visits only once every few months.Wang experiences hypothermia, a lack of heat makes him feel cold all the time. His hands swell and his fingers stop functioning. He studies in a small school that doesn’t have heat and all the students have to wear warm clothes.
Wang wants to get a good education because he wants to come out of poverty. He scored 99 out of 100 on the exam he walked to the day the photo was taken.
The photo of the “ice boy” touched the hearts of many internet users and the media called him “a symbol of persistence and bravery of the Chinese nation.”
The photo shows the difficult situation Chinese students are in.
They have to live with their grandfathers and grandmothers, while their parents travel far from their houses and go to big cities to earn money.The children live in dilapidated houses, don’t get enough to eat, and can’t reach their schools by bus.
All the basic things (food, heat, and education) are difficult for them.
At the end of January, Wang, his sister, and his father were called to Beijing. Policemen took him for a ride in a car and he also rides a scooter. Wang visited a climbing wall, toured Mao Zedong’s mausoleum, and took part in a press conference where he said that he hopes to enter Beijing University and that he wants to become a doctor or a policeman.
“It’s cold at home, we have to use charcoal all the time, and we sleep in coats.And here, the houses are so warm that I can wear just a single shirt! I’m seeing this for the first time in my life. Central heating is a miracle,” Wang told journalists.
Internet users were so touched by the boy’s story that they raised $450,000 for him. This money will be used to repair the central heating in Wang’s school, and to buy heaters and warm clothes for the children from the poor families of the Yúnnán province.
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