The mass exodus of people from China’s rural areas to its cities is having an unexpected positive consequence for girls “left behind” in the countryside.
It was a hot summer day three years ago. Suddenly dark clouds rolled in, thunder struck and lightning streaked. Rain poured, driven by strong winds. In an instant one could not distinguish where the sky ended and the earth began. Water was everywhere. In that engulfing darkness, our home swayed as if it were ready to crumble. At father’s command, we ran out to seek refuge. But then father remembered that the ginger mother and I crisscrossed mountains and valleys to dig up for so many days was still in the house. That ginger was to pay for the fees of my next school term. The moment father went back into the house, it collapsed. The rain gush washed away our home. It carried away father. (A left-behind girl, thirteen years old)