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Bus means grandma no longer has to carry grandson to school

2012/04/11 18:54:30

Taipei, April 11 (CNA) A grandma living in central Taiwan no longer has to carry her physically handicapped grandson to school on her back, thanks to a mini bus provided by the Nantou county government that picks them up five days each week.

At 7 a.m. on a Wednesday, grandma Yeh Tseng Su-chu and her grandson, nicknamed Little Ting, who is blind and suffers from cerebral palsy, board the bus in front of their home in the county's Chushan Township.

Yeh Tseng said with a big smile that she applied for the bus service before, but was not successful. She said she was "happy that my wish has finally been granted."

Yeh Tseng recalled her daily trips to the National Taichung Special School for the Visually Impaired, saying that she used to go to the Chushan bus stop by motorcycle with Little Ting wrapped up on her back.

But her grandson sometimes became distressed if the weather was hot,which was dangerous. "Now I feel I can go out with a lighter heart," she said.

Each day, Yeh Tseng would have to get up at 4 a.m. to prepare breakfast. Then she would take her grandson to the bus station to board a 6 a.m. bus to Taichung Railway Station, where they would transfer to Fongyuan and then take another bus to the school in Houli District.

The round trip is over 140 km, and they made the trip every day,five days a week over the past three years.

Her grandson, who weighed just seven kilograms when he started school, now weights 15 kg.

Despite the heavy load on her back, Yeh Tseng said she is happy to see the progress her grandson has made and hopes that he will be ableto take care of himself independently when he grows up.

The child's father died several years ago. His mother liveselsewhere and visits him only occasionally.

The story of the 60-year-old grandma piggybacking her grandson to school has moved many, prompting the local governments of both NantouCounty and Taichung City to offer help.

Chang Mu-pin, a Nantou social affairs official, said the county istrying to find out if there are any special education classes in the countysuitable for someone in Little Ting's situation, which would spare the twothe travail of the daily long journey.

(By Lin Heng-li and Lilian Wu)