Grandpa Bai, the poor elderly pedicab rider
This article should be aptly titled “The incredible, boundless, self-sacrificing and most generous Grandpa Bai who gave every cent away without reservation, to charity for education of the poor.” A rather long title. For such was the kind of man in Grandpa Bai. His charitable heart was as big as China itself! Grandpa Bai’s full name was Bai Fangli. He was not a wealthy person, but a very old and poor pedicab rider.
Grandpa Bai was a poor pedicab rider in China. To be exact, in Tianjin, north-eastern China. In 1987, when Grandpa was 74, he decided to retire from the hard labor of peddling a pedicab. For those who have never seen a Chinese pedicab, take a look at the photos here. Grandpa Bai returned to his hometown in Changxia County in southern China. There he chanced upon a group of poor children working in the fields, not having the chance of an education. As if fate would have it, Grandpa couldn’t get over this melancholic sight. He knew what poverty and hunger were all about. Generation after generation, children did not have the opportunity for a good education because they were poor. Grandpa Bai had to do something about this problem.
Tianjin on the map of China
Never too old to help others
So Grandpa decided to embark on a new journey of life at the ripe old age of 74! He returned to Tianjin and started riding his pedicab again. This time he did it entirely for charity in education. This he did for another 18 years!
Mr. Bai passed away on September 23, 2005, in a hospital. Hundreds turned up at his funeral.
Pictures speak louder than words. I like to share with you the potfolio of photos on Grandpa Bai. Even under heavy snow, Grandpa Bai continued to ride his pedicab. Grandpa Bai had very simple meals in between work. All the money he earned he gave them to charities for education purposes.
Do we need to be wealthy to do charity? My greatest respect for Grandpa Bai.