Left-behind children in China: These pictures reveal a sad truth
The incident brings left-behind children in China to the spotlight, and has created much furore online.
You might have come across pictures of 2 Chinese boys clinging on to the undercarriage of a bus.
As per reports, these 2 Chinese children actually travelled for 80 km (close to 3 hours), UNDER a moving bus.
Who are these children? And why did they have to resort to such dangerous means?
The case of the missing boys was first brought to notice by their teacher, on 23 November.
They were finally found by security workers on the very same day, in the undercarriage of a vehicle at a bus station, coated with mud and dirt and clinging on for dear life.
About 5 km of their travel actually involved steep terrain, but thankfully and surprisingly, the boys were found unharmed. Their thin bodies enabled them to hide in the undercarriage.
At first, they were unwilling to disclose the reason for their "adventure", but later revealed the sad truth.
Apparently, the 2 boys, around 8-9 years old, were from a poor village in southern Guangxi, China. They had travelled all that distance because they wanted to be with their parents, who work in the neighbouring Guangdong province.
One staff member told Southern Morning Post, "We finally came to understand that these two boys had been missing their mum and dad."
"They had hidden under the vehicle because they wanted, in vain, to find their parents."
Their relatives were informed and the children were handed over the very same evening.
The incident brings "left-behind children" in China to the spotlight, and has created much furore online. Many have described the pictures as heartbreaking.
There are apparently thousands of such children in rural areas who get left behind when their parents move to the cities to find work.
In this case, the two boys had been boarding at their school.
But most of the left-behind children in China live with their grandparents, or other relatives. Some have to survive on their own.
The issue is in need of dire attention and has been equated to nothing short of a "tragedy in society".