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Day for Disabled Hits Beijing

One million volunteers took to the streets of Beijing on Saturday to take part in the 12th National Day of Assisting the Disabled.

Meanwhile, the Beijing municipal government also announced plans to implement 10 projects for the disabled Sunday.

Sponsored by the central committee of the Youth League and the China Disabled Persons' Federation, Saturday's Beijing-based volunteer project aims to attract around three million young volunteers to help provide disabled people and their families with long-term assistance.

On Saturday morning, more than 200 young volunteers from Chaoyang District gathered on the square in front of the capital's Worker's Stadium. The volunteers provided legal information, medical services, hair-dressing and many other free services. The volunteers had no complaints but warm hearts and enthusiasm - even though they worked in temperatures of around 30 C.

"The disabled need our help and we are glad we can help them," said Guo Ling, office director of Beijing Union Law Office.

So far, more than 3,000 law offices around the country give priority to disabled people.

Last year, such offices gave legal consultations to at least 400,000 disabled people, and assisted more than 90,000 disabled people in achieving their legal rights, according to statistics from the China Disabled Persons' Association.

The Ministry of Justice and the association yesterday awarded 80 departments and 59 individuals for outstanding contributions to this area of work.

The Minister of Justice Zhang Fusen said efforts will be strengthened this year to promote legal knowledge among the disabled, and to encourage more legal professionals to contribute.

In Beijing, Vice-Mayor Zhai Hongxiang yesterday announced 10 items on the list that the municipal government plans to do for the city's 620,000 disabled people.

For example, the Chinese capital will transform 50 road crossings and 80 slopes around the city for the convenience of the blind and establish job-seeking centres and information centres, and provide skill training sessions to help the disabled find jobs.

(China Daily May 20, 2002)

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