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Chinese blogger saves 14 from streets

April 02 2010
Former ad executive discovered people sleeping in sub-zero temperatures

A blogger in China has used the power of the internet to save 14 disabled people from sleeping rough on the streets of Beijing.

Newswire service AFP reported how Zhang Shihe, 57, wrote about the appalling conditions of those living on the capital's streets on his Chinese-language blog, 24 Hours Online. Generous donations from all over China came flooding in, and they have now been housed.

Mr Zhang took to the streets to blog about ordinary people in 2007 after retiring from his job as an advertising executive. He soon uncovered grim stories of the people forgotten by China's economic boom who flock to the capital in search of work, but find themselves without anywhere to sleep.

Many sleep on the pavement in sub-zero temperatures, unwilling to go to homeless shelters for fear they will be forcibly returned home, while others have described the shelters as 'prisons' and have reported being beaten by the 'guards'. Mr Zhang previously led campaigns to raise money for the victims of the major earthquake in Sichuan province two years ago, among others.