Dali says he has not seen his father in more than 5 months. All of these children have not seen their parents for quite some time.
Their teacher says that the lack of childhood care and education, not to mention adult supervision, can create problems.
Zhang Cuirong, the teacher, said, "Children with parents' care, and those without it, are quite different in their character and personality. For example, there is a boy in our class whose parents haven't come back for years. He doesn't like to talk. He is quiet and not easy to communicate with."
Jinli and Jinxia take a nearly-one-hour bicycle ride to school every day. That saves them the two yuan cost of bus fare. Having more income is the biggest concern for the entire family. They say they miss their parents very much, but they understand that there is no better option.
Gu Jinxia said, "I think it's good that our parents go to work in cities. They can make more money for the family there."
The two girls are now in junior high school. They want to continue to get senior high school education if the family can afford it. If not, they say when they are old enough, they will also go to a city to earn a better living.
CCTV reporter Zhang Lu said, "Saying goodbye to the sisters, I concluded my journey in southwest China. From Tibet to Yunnan, from Guizhou to Sichuan. Most of the places I visited were in remote areas. I found that poverty still remains the biggest challenge and is the cause of many social problems, such as children being left by their parents."
In Guizhou, environmental protection challenges poverty reduction. In Chongqing, migrant workers still find it hard to protect their rights.
But changes are starting to be seen in the meantime.
In Tibet, the health care system has been improved to ensure that the poor can afford medical services. In Wanzhou, efforts have been strengthened to help women achieve re-employment.
And a pilot project has been carried out in Chongqing to provide migrant workers with low-rent housing.
Reform takes time, and change may not take place overnight. But the direction is clear -- achieving a better life for all.
CCTV reporter Zhang Lu said, "During my one-month trip, I saw both changes and challenges. China has achieved so much in social and economic development over the past 6 decades that many have called it a miracle. But the country is so vast that development is unbalanced. More needs to be done to help people in these areas reduce poverty."
(CCTV September 24, 2009)