Du Chuanwang is now in stable condition, but infections continue to complicate his recovery.
Public outrage is mounting over the way donations are being handled for Du Chuanwang, the 13-year-old boy who made national headlines after two colleagues at the auto workshop he was working at forcibly inserted a pump nozzle into his anus, and pumped him up like a car tyre.
Donations that came in through a special bank account set up by the boy’s father Du Shehou have now been removed from his care by his cousin, who has since taken the bank card back to his hometown in Shandong.
Without any money to cover his daily expenditure, the flustered father had to turn to the Beijing-based Angel Mom foundation for help, which had also been raising money for the boy’s treatment. The foundation allocated 1,000 RMB to help cover his daily meals at the hospital canteen.
These developments were revealed online by Deng Fei, a respected former journalist who started the “Free Lunch for Children” charity campaign for China’s “left-behind” kids.
“The [ICBC] bank card is now with my cousin, Dong Qilu,” said Du Shehou to Southern Metropolis Daily. “I have asked him to return me the card but to no avail. He said he was going to take the card back home.”
“He’s controlling my daily expenditure here, and said I can’t spend more than 100RMB each day. He said this money is from the society and that we have to use it more sparingly.”
When asked by local reporters why he was withholding the card from Du, Dong Qilu said, he and other relatives have decided to help “safekeep” the card because they were concerned that the boy’s father would not use the money wisely.
He did not give an answer when further pressed on why he needed to “safekeep” the card, saying only that the family would be “above board” in all financial dealings and that the card would be returned to Du “soon”.
As of July 19, the card contained close to 360,000 yuan in donations, much of it from donors who refused to send money through the Red Cross-affiliated Angel Mom foundation.
With lingering public mistrust of official charity organisations, cynical internet users have asked pointed questions about the overall handling of the boy’s case, and the selection of the Beijing Bayi Children’s Hospital.
The motivations of Wang Xi, host of Qilu Television’s Daily News show who followed the boy from Shandong all the way to Beijing (we briefly mentioned her here), have also come under great scrutiny. Wang has since suspended her Weibo account without giving a proper account of how she came to be involved in the case.
While Du Chuanwang remains in stable condition, infections continue to complicate his recovery, with dying tissue developing on his face and nose. Infections in his gums have caused most of his teeth to come loose, and the boy remains unable to speak. His liver has also been severely damaged in the ordeal.
Previously on Shanghaiist
13-year-old child worker under intensive care after colleagues pump him up like car tyre
Infections complicate recovery of abused 13-year-old child worker [Warning: Graphic images]