bai-fang-li

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SWEATING FOR EDUCATION

Recently I came across this delightful story of determination, compassion and radical generosity.

In 1987, a 74-year old rickshaw puller by the name of Bai Fang Li came back to his hometown planning to retire from his backbreaking job. There, he saw children working in the fields, because they were too poor to afford school fees.

Bai returned to Tianjin and went back to work as a rickshaw puller, taking a modest accommodation next to the railway station. He waited for clients 24 hours a day, ate simple food and wore discarded second-hand clothes he found. He gave all of his hard-earned earnings to an unknown orphanage that takes care of over 300 orphans in Tianjin. This orphanage also runs a school for the orphans and other poor children in the area.

In 2001, he drove his rickshaw to Tianjin YaoHua Middle School, to deliver his last instalment of money. Nearly 90 years old, he told the students that he couldn’t work any more. All of the students and teachers were moved to tears.

In total, Bai had donated a total of 350,000 yuan to help more than 300 poor students continue with their studies. In 2005, Bai passed away leaving behind an inspiring legacy.

ONE QUOTATION TO WALK WITH

“It is OK that I suffer, as long as the poor children have something to eat and that they can have a proper education. I am happy just to do all these things.” | Bai Fang Li 

Story reported on CCTV. Click on the link to watch the video.

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Using the money he earned from peddling trishaw, Mr. Bai Fang Li has contributed to finance more than 300 poor students in their tuition fees and living expenses, helping them to complete their studies.

His daughter recalls “He suffers throughout his life, saving on food and drinks, stitching his torn pants over and over again. When you throw away his old pants and buy new ones for him, not only that he does not want to wear them but he also gets angry.”

When the elder peddles trishaw, his clothes, shoes and hates all do not match, as if he is a beggar.
“I had never bought any clothes before. You see, the clothes that I wear are all picked up from the clothes people threw away. Look at my shoes, they are different, even the socks inside are different! The same applies to my hat; it was also collected from dumpsites.” he said.
His family members who could not resist looking him like that have advised him but to no avail.
In response to that, he simply picked up a bun and said to his children
“What is so hard about this? This bun is the product of the farmers’ hard work. People throw it away; I pick it up and eat it; isn’t this a way to reduce wastage?”

It has been calculated that, over years, Mr. Bai Fang Li has peddled equivalent to going round the Earth’s equator for 18 (times?). Mr. Bai has never thought to be rewarded.

Somebody attempted to find the list of students sponsored by Mr. Bai but he only found a photograph of him with a few children, and that is the only photograph ever taken. When asked about what he expected of the children, his humble reply was “I only want them to study hard, get a good job, be a good person and to give back to the country.”

In 2001, Mr. Bai Fang Li donated the last sum of money. Nearly 90 years old, he was unable to peddle trishaws anymore.
Instead, he looked after people’s car at the station and saved up to 500 yuan before he donated the money.
After giving out his last sum of money, he said “I cannot work anymore, I can no longer donate money to others!” and that was the first time in her life his daughter Bai Jin Feng had ever heard her father saying that.

Mr. Bai passed away on September 23, 2005, in a hospital. Hundreds turned up at his funeral.

http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2010/11/17/the-virtuous-mr-bai-fang-li/

He was a tricycle driver for 20 years and has donated 350,000Renminbi to support the education of 300 students who live in poverty.

One winter, he gave his last 500Renminbi to their teacher, “This will be my last donation as I am no longer fit to work.” He passed away at the age of 93. His name is Bai Fang Li.

< You don’t have to be rich to help those in needs.>