Grandpa Bai, The Great Philanthropist
Tianjin on the map of China
Grandpa Bai, The Old Pedicab Paddler
I am editing and republishing this article. I took out this article because it was not receiving decent readership numbers. But lately the original pictures were circulated virally again. So I decided to republish and give it a new title, “Grandpa Bai, The Great Philanthropist”. Grandpa’s surname is Bai, and is pronounced as “pie” in Chinese Hanyu Pinyin system. His full name is Bai Fang Li. Grandpa Bai was a poor pedicab paddler, living from hand-to-mouth. He was not only poor but also old. But this grandpa was so incredible and most generous that he gave away every cent without reservation, to charity for the education of the poor. His heart was as big as China itself. What triggered grandpa Bai to such great feat of generosity? This is his story.
Grandpa Bai was a poor pedicab paddler in the metropolis city of Tianjin, in north-eastern China, near Beijing, the capital of China. In 1987, grandpa Bai decided to call it a day from paddling the pedicab. It was very hard labor for an old man like him. He was then already 74 years old! For those who have never seen a Chinese pedicab, take a look at the photo on the right.
Then grandpa Bai returned to his hometown in Changxia County in southern China, hoping to live the rest of his twilight years there. But fate was not going to let grandpa Bai retire there. While roaming around his hometown, he saw a group of poor children working in the fields when they were supposed to be in school. Those poor children were too poor to attend school, not having any chance to have a decent education. Grandpa Bai could not get over the melancholic sight of those children working in the fields. They needed help for a better future. He knew too well what poverty and hunger were all about. Generation after generation, the poor suffered, and their children suffered the most. Without proper education, the poor children would stand no chance to improve their livelihood. It would be a vicious cycle of suffering. Grandpa Bai had to do something to help those poor children educated and break this vicious cycle.
Grandpa Bai Counting His Takings
Never Too Old To Help Others
Grandpa Bai then made a great resolution to help those poor children to attend schools. He decided to embark on a “new” journey of a mission. A mission to help send those poor children to schools. Grandpa Bai returned to Tianjin and started paddling his pedicab again. Mind you, he was already 75 years old! And this time he did it entirely for charity to help those poor children to be educated. Believe it or not, this he did it for another 18 long years!
Pictures speak louder than words. Let me share with you all those photos that have been circulating all these years to highlight grandpa Bai’s incredible charitable work of labor and love. I have no way of finding out the actual source of these photos, otherwise I will definitely give due acknowledgement to them.
Grandpa Bai continued to paddle his pedicab day after day, even under heavy snow. Grandpa Bai lived a frugal life, eating simple meals in between work. All the money he earned through hard labor, he happily donated to charities for education purposes.
Grandpa Bai passed away at a ripe old age of 93 on September 23, 2005, in a hospital. Hundreds turned up at his wake and funeral.
My greatest respect for grandpa Bai, the great philanthropist. May he rest in peace knowing that thousands of children have benefited from his selfless contributions. The vicious cycle was thus broken!
Copyright © Justin Choo. Writings All Rights Reserved.
Grandpa Bai Takes A Nap
Public Appreciation To Grandpa Bai
Grandpa Bai Takes His Simple Meal
Grandpa Bai Toiling Away
Two Other Photos Of Grandpa Bai
At The Wake And Funeral Of Grandpa Bai
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