These Chinese kids climb a "Stairway to Heaven" to go to school! -
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These Chinese kids climb a "Stairway…
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These Chinese kids climb a "Stairway to Heaven" to go to school!

June 29, 2017 • By Shirley Marie Bradby

Do you think that having to tolerate hours of traffic to get to work is hell? It may well be an inferno, but at least it is not particularly risky!

However, in the world, there are absurd situations, unthinkable nowadays, which make you aware that what we consider to be difficulties, are actually nothing when compared to the obstacles that exist in less-industrialized countries.

For instance, in China, the children in a small village have to climb a mountain to reach the nearest school! The mountain path is 800 meters high without any protection and the children must walk along narrow pathways and precarious stone steps to arrive at the school!

The ancient village of Atule'er, south of Sichuan in China, is made up of only 72 families who make their living cultivating chillies (chilli peppers).

The inhabitants have no difficulty living in this very isolated the territory as it is particularly fertile for growing fruit and vegetables. The problem is for the children who have to reach to the nearest school, located just beyond the mountain from where they live.

For about an hour and a half, children climb on rope stairs with their bare hands and walk along the narrow footpaths with no protection.


Due to the difficulty of the journey, the school has changed the schedule for these students. Once they arrive at the school, they stay there for 14 days before returning home.

After returning to the village, the children have five days rest before embarking on a new trip back to the school!

A Chinese photographer Chen Jie followed them and photographed them on one of their journeys back to the school. He says, "Every climb is like having death hanging over your head ".

There has been a total of eight deaths due to accidental falls while climbing this mountain path. The last accident occurred in 2009.

The photographer's reportage has spread around the world on the Internet and it has caused a scandal! How can the Chinese government allow this situation to continue without intervening? 

The children in the village of Atule'er are not the only ones to face such dangers. In fact, in Indonesia, Nepal, there are also many young people who literally risk their lives to get an education!


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