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‘Ice Boy’s life changed after viral photo sparked donations in 2018 [Copy link] 中文

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(CGTN) Chinese boy Wang Fuman's life has drastically changed in the past year after he became a nationwide Internet sensation in January 2018 when a photo of him in classroom with frost in his hair went viral.



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Then 8-year-old Wang Fuman arrives at the classroom with his hair and eyebrows fully covered with frost. /Weibo Photo



Better known as “Ice Boy”, nine-year-old Wang who studies at Zhuanshanbao Primary School in Ludian County of Zhaotong City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, used to trek a 4.5-kilometer-long mountain path for over an hour to get home every school day.


Braving frigid temperatures and wearing nothing but a thin coat, the kid's firm insistence on attending school warmed the hearts of millions and his story triggered a flood of donations.


In the year that has gone by, how has life changed for "Ice Boy"? Journalists from People's Daily paid a follow-up visit to his home not long ago.

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A recent photo of "Ice Boy" at school. /Photo via yn.people.cn



According to the report, his life has been much improved as the family has moved from their cracked mud hut in Zhaotong into a new two-story building in the village of Zhuanbaoshan, meaning Wang has to walk just 10 minutes to get to school.


Wang's father, who worked hundreds of miles away, and came back home a couple of times a year, now works at a construction site in Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan, and makes about 6,000 yuan (874 U.S. dollars) a month, which is a quite handsome salary.

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"Ice Boy's" new house. /Photo via yn.people.cn



“Life is much easier,” said Wang Gangkui. Part of being able to take better care of the 9-year-old, Wang's siblings and their grandparents, the father bought a pig – weighing more than 100 kg – for the upcoming lunar New Year.

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Wang (R) at school. /Photo via yn.people.cn



Wang's primary school, which had no heating facilities in classrooms, is now fully equipped with high-powered heating installations.


Wang's plight is just a small part of the rural poverty in China's mountainous areas and the enormous attention his story got last year helped the school get donations of cash and materials like sports goods, clothes and heaters.

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Wang (C) stays with his classmates at the school's dormitory. /Photo via yn.people.cn



With the money received from charities and individuals alike, the school now boasts an art room, a computer unit and a laboratory. The cafeteria was also upgraded and a new dormitory was built so that children who still live far away don't have to make the lengthy trek in frigid weather.

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Zhuanshanbao Primary School located in the mountainous area is cold in the bitter winter. /Photo via yn.people.cn



“Ice Boy”, a team leader now, is still calm and diligent despite all the publicity he received after his rise to fame – including receiving gifts, getting interviewed and being invited to visit his dream school in Beijing after the People's Public Security University of China learned that Wang's dream is to become a policeman.


Wang's resolution has not changed. He's always saying he dreams of “catching the bad guys” and shares stories of his trip to Beijing with his classmates occasionally.

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