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Abandoned boy, 9, recycles bottles to buy stationery

MING Yaojin smiled when he spotted an empty water bottle in the roadside bushes on his way home from primary school yesterday afternoon.

The 9-year-old boy from southwestern China's Chongqing Municipality whose mother abandoned him when his father died of brain cancer five years ago collects empty water bottles to buy clothes and stationery for school, today's Chongqing Economic Times reported.

The 1.2-meter-tall thin boy, wearing a worn-out jacket and short black trousers, with his feet squeezed into tight cloth shoes, was lucky yesterday, collecting five bottles.

"If I collect 60 more bottles I can buy a pen," he told the newspaper, proudly.

He has collected more than 5,000 bottles in the past two years and used the money to buy pens, rubbers, books and shoes.

Ming said he doesn't hate his mother nor could he even remember her face. All he wants is to ask, "Do you still love me?"

Ming has been cared for by his uncle since his mother left, but he said he would not bother his uncle more for money.

The uncle, a coal miner, the boy explained, earned just 1,000 yuan (US$146) a month to support a family of five, including his wife, 14-year-old daughter, mother and the boy.

The uncle told the newspaper he would continue to care for the boy as if he was his own and would send the boy to college to receive a better education.

Though he worked late, he insisted on checking the boy's homework everyday, the uncle said.


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