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Chalk it up to great courage

Updated: 2013-10-20 10:11
By Lyu Chang ( China Daily)

Chalk it up to great courage

Jiang has learned how to write and teach without arms by using chalk tied to his protrusions from his shoulders. [Photo Provided to China Daily]

Things changed when his elder brother retired from the local school and Jiang was recommended to teach there to fill the vacancy.

Although his salary is far less than a qualified teacher's, and he receives no welfare benefits, his dedication is without question.

Since then, he has learned how to write without arms.

Jiang says the early days were difficult. He not only had to deal with the physical challenges but also struggled with depression and loneliness. He questioned the purpose of his life and if he even had a purpose. He contemplated suicide.

But then he thought of his little boy.

"I can't leave him to become an orphan. I want him to be proud of me," he says.

Holding such belief, Jiang had experienced both bitter and sweet moments with the help and support of so many kind people.

Every day, he has to walk alone for 40 minutes and climb a mountain to get to the school. When it rains or snows, it can mean disaster for him.

One day on his way to school, Jiang slipped and fell onto an edge of a cliff. Without the support of arms he was unable to stand up. He could not move because any struggle could send him falling down the cliff. He just lay in the snow and waited to be rescued until a villager passed by.

"I told him there is no need to come to school if it rains or snows, but he has not missed one class," Li Lugui, the school principal, says.

Now, Jiang's biggest dream is to bring the advanced teaching skills learned in Shanghai back home and build a computer classroom for his students.

Jiang says he has received support and help from many after receiving media attention in recent years.

Last year, Baxter International Inc, a US-based healthcare company, raised more than 140,000 yuan ($23,000) to purchase 20 computers for the students in the school.

Jiang says it is an amazing force in life to believe that he can do better and help students realize their dreams, which can carry all mankind through its hardships.

Contact the writer at lvchang@chinadaily.com.cn.

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