Role Models >> Lai Ning

Lai Ning (1974-1988), from Shimian County, Sichuan Province, was a bright middle-school student.

On March 13, 1988, a major forest fire broke out in Shimian County and Lai and his classmates went to help with the fire-fighting efforts. The students were passing a still-smoldering area of forest on the way home that evening when a gust of wind rekindled the flames. Lai, who was at the back of the group was caught in the blaze and died. In November 1988, Lai was named a "revolutionary martyr", and in June 1989, a national "Learn from Lai Ning" campaign was initiated. But the campaign was halted in 2004 since it was realized that the minors themselves need protection and should not be encouraged to do whatever beyond their capacity.