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Bai Fangli: Selfless donation to poor students

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The last instalment of Unsung Heroes series is one hero provided financial help to poor students. But this is no millionaire -- he made a living by pedalling a pedicab. Bai Fangli donated a total of 350,000 yuan to help more than 300 poor students continue with their studies. In 2005, he passed away at the age of 93.

Bai Fangli: Selfless donation to poor students 

For almost twenty years, to save up for his donations, Bai Fangli peddled his pedicab everyday.

His devotion started in 1987 when he was 74 years old. Bai had prepared to retire and say goodbye to his job.

But after coming back to his hometown, a group of children working in the field aroused his attention.

Bai's daughter, Bai Jinfeng said:" He asked why the children didn't go to school. And our relatives told him that it was because they were too poor to afford tuition. My father was worried so he decided to donate 5,000 yuan to the schools in our hometown. But for him, it was all he owned."

As soon as he returned to Tianjin, Bai went back to work. All of his earnings went to support the needy students.

His sons and daughters tried to persuade him to change his mind, as they wanted him to enjoy a relaxing life. But the father turned a deaf ear to them.

Bai Jinfeng also said:" At that time, he went out at dawn and wouldn't return until darkness fell. He earned 20 to 30 yuan each day. After returning home, he put his earnings in a place carefully."

Bai had always felt regretful that he was illiterate. So he hoped the next generation could change their destiny with education.

Bai Fangli: Selfless donation to poor students 

Later on, to increase his effort to assist students in need, Bai moved to a simple room near the Tianjin Railway Station. He waited for clients 24 hours a day, ate simple food and wore discarded second-hand clothes he found.

At the age of 82 years old, to his children's surprise, Bai made another decision.

He founded an education support fund with the help of loans.

But his life driving a pedicab continued.

Xu Xiuxiang, one of the workers of Education Support Fund, said:" He never forgot when to give money to the schools and often urged us to give his earnings to the school. Each time he gave the money he felt very happy and said he had completed his mission again."

In 2001, he drove his pedicab to Tianjin YaoHua Middle School, to delivering his last installment of money. Nearly 90 years old, he told the students that he couldn't work any more. All of the students and teachers were moved to tears.

Bai Fangli said:" I hope the students could study hard and get a good job, and then make contributions to our country."

A long journey of supporting and aiding students lasted two decades.

In 2005, he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

Although he had kept none of his earnings for himself, he was left with his selfless spirit and love.


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