Devoted father walks 20 miles a day carrying his son to the only school that will take him
Yu Xukang is a single father in China’s Sichuan province. He has taken care of his son alone since the boy was three. This would be impressive enough in a normal situation, but in addition to the difficulties of single parenthood, Yu’s son is disabled with a hunch in his back and twisted arms and legs.
Despite his physical disabilities, the 12-year-old’s mind is as sharp as anyone’s, and yet he couldn’t get a place in school. Yu explains,
I know that my son is physically disabled but there is nothing wrong with his mind. However, I couldn’t find any school here with the facilities to accept him and he was constantly rejected. In fact the only place where I could get a place for him was at the Fengxi Primary School in Fengyi township in Yibin county in Sichuan province — which is a five-mile walk away.
With the only option five miles away and no transportation available, Yu knew what he had to do — carry his boy to school…and then walk back for work…and then walk back after school…and then carry his son home again. Every day, 20 miles.
Since the beginning of the school year, Yu estimates he’s walked 1,600 miles.
The good news is that now that his story is getting press, he has been offered a government subsidized apartment close to the school. When he is able to move in, he’ll only have to walk 10 miles each day to get to work and back.
That’s far more than most of us walk in a day, but it does not seem like too much to this proud and devoted father…
My son with his disabilities is not in a position to walk on his own and it also means that he can’t ride a bike. Despite being 12 he’s just 90 cm tall. But I am proud of the fact that he is already top of his class and I know he will achieve great things. My dream is that he will go to college.