Asia-Pacific

Heartbreaking image of Chinese boy with frozen hair sparks poverty debate

The primary student with frozen hair is pictured as he arrives at a primary school in Zhaotong city, southwest China's Yunnan province, 8 January 2018. Source: AAP

The eight-year-old Chinese boy who arrived at school with swollen hands and frosted hair is a 'left-behind child'.

Photos of "Little Wang" reverberated around social media in China on Monday after images showed the eight-year-old turning up to school with frozen hair and swollen hands.

Chine News Service agency reported it takes an hour for the young boy to walk 4.5 km to school in Ludan Country in the south-western province.

The agency also reported it was -9C the morning the photo was taken. An image taken from Wang's teacher revealed his hands were swollen.

The primary student with frozen hair shows his hands as he takes classes in a primary school in Zhaotong city, southwest China's Yunnan province, 8 January 2018. A primary student braved cold to go to school in Zhaotong city, southwest China.
The primary student with frozen hair shows his hands as he takes classes in a primary school in Zhaotong city, southwest China, 8 January 2018.

Wang is a "left-behind child", according to the South China Morning Post, a term used to describe children from poor families whose parents work away from home.

The heartbreaking image has prompted an outpour of support on social media and within the community.

State-run CCTV news reported that a local youth league donated to the school so the children could have better clothing.

Plenty of social media users were reported to be praising the young boy's dedication to take the exam.

Many others said it showed the poverty so many "left-behind children" were facing in China.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch