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Post-80s volunteers on rise
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When it came to deciding whether to take care of his quake-injured mom and volunteer for the people in tremor-battered areas, 25-year-old Liu Yi, chose the latter.

In a country where a child's failure to exercise promptu piety to parents are usually condemned and draw public exposure, the choice was by no means easy.

"The families can take care of my mom. Besides, there's my girlfriend," he said.

Liu, a graduate from Chongqing Jiaotong University in southwest China in 2006 and now an employee of the Chongqing Municipal Bureau of Highways, said he wanted to do something "practical" and "helpful" for the people in the quake-hit regions.

The magnitude-8.0 quake that rocked the southwest Sichuan Province on May 12 damaged all the furniture and electrical appliances in his Guanghan home, located north of the capital Chengdu.

Liu's injured mother was sent to a relatives' home in Chongqing, a nearby municipality less affected by the quake. On the same day, he headed for Hongbai Township in Sichuan's Shifang City, the place hardest-hit by the tremor.

With an educational background in bridge construction, he was assigned to the logistics management division, where he was doing construction site management. He was also involved in publicity, taking pictures and shooting videos.

The young man said the relief experience reshaped his world views and helped him to learn things that were not taught in school.

"We used to rely on our parents and teachers back in school. The earthquake made us realize that some difficulties needed to be tackled by ourselves," he said.

Liu was one of the thousands of youngsters who rushed to the quake scene since May 12, most of whom were born after 1980, two years after China embarked on its reform and opening-up drives in 1978.

Such children were also nicknamed "Post-80s," a phrase that usually reminded people of a pampered and spoilt generation.

Being the generation to witness China's strong economic boom, the Post-80s were often labeled as apathetic, selfish or money worshippers. They were portrayed as spoiled only children who did not care about others' feelings and could not handle things by themselves.

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