The victims of the Sichuan 5.12 earthquake are suffering from the chilly winter. A local official says the lowest temperature in the earthquake zone can be 21.1 degrees below zero centigrade. Now how to help the victims pull through the bitter winter remains an urgent and tough task.
Last month, Mr. Zang Lu （臧璐）, a well-known environmentalist, and his colleagues took great pains to visit a leprosy village in Mao County, which is 40 kilometers away from seismic center. When asked what they need badly at the moment, the villagers simply replied: “Quilts!”
But when 15 university students of Yibin Vocational and Technical College in Sichuan province collected four large bags of clothes for the earthquake survivors, the local red cross office in Yibin refused to take them.
Just at the same time, some teachers in the mountainous areas in Sichuan province sent out messages that they badly need clothes, quilts, stationery, etc.
Then what is the true situation in the earthquake zone? Mr. Ji Shaokang, a Canadian professor, visited Sichuan last December. He describes what he witnesses in his blogosphere:
In cities and towns, there hang slogans along the roadsides, saying:
One of Prof. Ji’s companions felt puzzled: Where is our donation?
On the other hand, more and more people outside the earthquake zone are trying to help the fellows in Sichuan.
A week before the New Year’s Day, Care for Life Campaign（关爱生命万里行）launched a second mission to Sichuan. The NGO enlisted 43 people (29 from Hong Kong) to visit Sichuan. With different kinds of gifts and their warm hearts, they celebrated the New Year’s Day with their old friends there. The website says:
In November 2008, Green and Shine Foundation（桂馨基金会）published an open letter to help the rural teachers in the earthquake zone, which urged:
As a result, people of all walks of life across China answered the call with great enthusiasm, sending gifts, clothes, books, stationery, etc. to the teachers there.
Ms. Wu Bei（吴蓓）, an educator and translator, together with her friend Ms. Liu Zhen（刘真）, wife of a grassroots thinker Yin Zhisheng who passed away in 1999, disseminated this information to their friends via SNS, receiving very positive responses.
Unfortunately, when trying to track the sources of information online, I found out they have already been deleted by website administrators, probably because these posts suggest that the government hasn’t taken effective measures to take care of the earthquake survivors.