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Aids Pouring in to Senior Chinese Citizens with Disabled Dependents
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Xu Peifang, 68, a retired engineer who lives in Jing'an District, Shanghai, might find it easier to pull through these days when various kinds of aids are pouring in as traditional Chinese lunar new year is drawing near.


Just days ahead of the Spring Festival, which falls on January 29, Shanghai Municipal Disabled Persons' Federation presented 200 yuan (about US$24.66) gift money to Xu, who huddles in a 25-sq-m flat together with her husband, also a retired engineer, a daughter and son, both of whom have been suffering from insanity.


The Party and government organizations at grassroots of Shanghai have also given a helping hand in the aid-the-needy campaign. Apart from 200 yuan gift money, officials with the Sanyifang Neighborhood Committee where Ms Xu lives also bought necessities such as edible oil for Xu's family.


The Sanyifang Neighborhood Committee of the Communist Party of China ( CPC) sent each poor family inside the neighborhood a box of biscuit with money donated by Party members.


"I feel very much warm for being cared for more despite my retirement," said Xu, a retiree from Shanghai Aviation Administration, who added neighborhood committee officials often dropped in her home during festivals, bringing along many commodities most needed for basic life.


Xu's family is just one of the 7,259 disadvantaged households wherein senior citizens are overburdened for having to support their disabled children, information from Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Civil Affairs.


The municipal government of Shanghai has been operating a specialized campaign designed to help these disadvantaged families pull through since February 2002.


Under the campaign, an upward of 3,000 volunteers, most of whom are laid-off workers, have been organized to form aiding unions with the above mentioned disadvantaged families so that these families could get needy support in all seasons.


Similar disadvantaged families in other Chinese cities such as Beijing, the national capital, and Wuhan, the most important city on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, have also felt the sunshines brought along by an array of activities calculated to create a harmonious society nationwide.


Low-income families in Beijing have been each subsidized by the municipal government to the standard of 200 yuan, the price of 300 pieces of honeycomb briquettes, during this winter heating season.


"With the money, we won't be frozen out in the coldest days of the winter," said 82-year-old Ms. Ma Yiwen, who lives together her insane son and daughter inside a 10-sq-m bungalow on Shitou Alley in Dashilan Neighborhood, south to Tian'anmen, the central part of Beijing.


Down south in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, different district and neighborhood committees carefully registered the number of families in desperate need of help on the basis of a thorough survey over the well-being of local residents at the order of the Wuhan City CPC Committee and the city government


So far, some 80,000 poor families, including victims of last autumn flooding on Hanjiang River and of a winter earthquake taking place in Jiujiang City of Jiangxi Province, have been given with 12.5 kg of fish, meat, eggs, edible oil and rice free of charge for the forthcoming Spring Festival.


(Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2006)


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