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PHOTOS: A Day in the Life of a Professional Beggar in China

Posted: 09/15/2014 12:28 pm

zhengzhou henan professional beggarThere are a multitude of beggars in China. Some are children, while some are crippled by debilitating injuries, diseases, or deformities. Some beggars need to beg in order to survive. And then there’s another kind of beggar: the professional. This is the person that begs as a career to make enough money to live.

QQ sent reporter Cui Guanghua out to take these incredibly thorough set of pictures of a group of professional beggars in Zhengzhou, Henan. The photos follow the group from morning to dusk and shows what a day of work for a professional beggar is like:

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

During the morning rush hour at the northwest corner of Huayuan Road and Weiwu Road, an old man lies on the ground covered with a sheet while a middle-aged woman repeatedly kowtows beside him (above).

zhengzhou henan professional beggar

Half an hour later, a middle-aged man comes over to join the group. He looks
into the bucket, counts the money, puts it into his pocket. All three, including the man lying prone on the ground, get engaged in a light-hearted conversation.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

According to the QQ report, the middle-aged man that just joined the group is named Zhang; the man on the ground is Zhang’s cousin, while the middle-aged woman is Ye,
Zhang’s other cousin.

The group is from from Qiaoxi, Anhui Province, and has been in Henan for three years. Their assimilation into the local culture is so complete that Zhang and He can both fluently speak the Henan dialect.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

At 11:30am, the trio pack up their belongings and take the bus to go to another location.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

Twenty minutes later, the group arrives at Renmin Road, near “Danny’s” shopping center. It is now noon, and there are lots of pedestrians in the area. People drop money into the group’s cup.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

In the afternoon the members of the group enjoy popsicles while counting their earnings.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

Beer is used to fill up a water bottle that acts as a substitute for “medicine”.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

The group produces a sizable amount of garbage from consuming food and other products that a street cleaner sweeps away for them.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

At around 2:30pm there is less pedestrian traffic, so the group meets up with another beggar who happens to have the the same gear as they do.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

Zhang is seen counting the money again.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

The group then heads for a late lunch of fried chicken and beer.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

After eating, the group begs during the evening rush hour.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

Half an hour later, the group is forced to relocate next to a parking garage because of mall staff.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

After half an hour, they switch positions.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

A day of work finally concludes at 10pm when the group has dinner at a restaurant.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

Dinner is paid for in small bills.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

At one point Ye took offense to being photographed by the reporter.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

To top it off, at some point Zhang was seen browsing at a Cartier jewelry store.

Photos: QQ, Shenzhen Evening Report


Five Injured When Police Handgun Goes Off At Kindergarten Safety Demonstration

Posted: 05/30/2014 10:07 am

henan gun dischargeFive people were hurt when a police handgun accidentally went off during a safety demonstration given by police at a kindergarten in Henan Province, reports CCTV News.

The incident occurred yesterday at around 10am at the Haiwen Experimental Kindergarten in Zhengdong New District, Zhengzhou.

Nobody was hit when the gun went off, but some were injured when the bullet hit the floor, causing fragments of concrete to hit spectators.

Injured are four parents and one child, mostly with light wounds. All victims have been treated at the No. 3 People’s Hospital in Zhengdong New District and are expected to be released from hospital in the next three to five days.

Photo: CCTV via Weibo


Depression leading cause of mental illness in Shenzhen

Posted: 10/11/2013 7:00 am

One in five adults in Shenzhen suffers from a mental illness, Chinanews reported yesterday, which was the 22nd World Mental Health Day. Moreover, 90% of sufferers in the city have never accepted treatment for their mental health problems.

According to Shenzhen Kangning Hospital in Luohu District, which is at the centre of the city’s mental illness prevention network, 21.19% of the city’s population suffers from some form of mental illness either mild or serious, and 1.41% of the city’s population (that is over 150,000 people) suffers from a serious mental illness.

Liu Tiebang, head of the hospital, said one of the problems with combating the problem was the mobility of the population. Moreover, the city is hugely limited in its resources. The national standard requires a city’s mental hospitals to have 1.71 beds for every 10,000 people, but Shenzhen has only 0.43, less than one quarter of what’s required.

One of the most common forms of mental illness in the city is depression, and homesickness has been cited as a major cause. Last time a citywide survey was carried out in 2005, it was found that 8.78% of women and 6.75% of men in the city suffer from mental illness. As with most of the world, the prevalence is higher among unmarried people than married people. It is also higher among unmarried people than married people and those with more than 13 years of formal education.

Depression is curable. Here is a list of possible ways to combat it from Britain’s NHS website.

In spite of all this, it is not just Shenzhen that is facing problems in its approach to mental health treatment. South China Morning Post reported yesterday that Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province, required its subdistricts to report at least two cases of grave mental illness for every 1,000 residents.

The paper has more:

The law requires all full-service hospitals to set up psychiatric departments in an effort to make up for previous disregard for mental health services. The law also ended involuntary treatment of mentally ill patients.

The order to identify and register those with severe mental illness follows a national directive from the Ministry of Health from July last year, which stipulates the number of cases each province, city and county-level administration had to report or face administrative penalties.

Is Shenzhen being burdened by this quota system or is it simply moving faster? Either way, the stigma attached to those who are certified as mentally ill in China is hard for a Westerner to imagine.


Shenzhen – Xi’an high speed rail to open Sept 28, cut travel time to 9 hours

Posted: 09/24/2012 7:00 am

A new section of railway that will eventually become part of the Shenzhen to Beijing high speed rail route will open on September 28, according to Shenzhen Evening News.

The section will connect Shenzhen and Xi’an, via Guangzhou and Zhengzhou. It iwll now take just 7 hours to go from Shenzhen North Station to Zhengzhou East, and just 9 hours from here to Xi’an, the historic capital of Shaanxi Province and home of the Terra-Cotta Warriors.

The journey also takes in Guangzhou South Railway Station, Changsha South Railway Station, and Wuhan.  The Nanfang reviewed the Guangzhou – Wuhan section last year.

Tickets for the new journey went on sale on September 22 at 10 p.m. Tickets from Shenzhen to Xi’an cost 891 yuan for a regular ticket and 1404 yuan for a first-class ticket. Tickets from Shenzhen to Zhengzhou cost 730 yuan for a regular and for 1148 yuan for a first class.

Tickets from Guangzhou to Xi’an cost 818 yuan for a regular and 1308 yuan for a first class. Tickets from Guangzhou to Zhengzhou cost 655 yuan for a regular and 1048 yuan for a first class, according to Guangzhou Daily.

The complete railway all the way to Beijing is expected to be completed at the end of the year. The high-speed rail will reduce the 2,372-kilometer journey from Shenzhen to Beijing to 8 hours from the current 24 hours, as we told you before.

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