A year on, a warmer winter for China's 'Ice boy'
A year ago, Wang Fuman had to walk an hour in freezing weather to get to school; this winter, his home is just a 10-minute walk from his primary school.
Wang, then eight years old, became known as “ice boy” around the world after a photo of him with icicles in his hair went viral.
It took him more than an hour to make the 4.5km journey from his home to the school in Yunnan’s Ludian county, and the temperature was -9 degrees Celsius the day the photo was taken, reports said.
Wang’s family, who lived in a mud house, moved to a new home last June, which is right beside a paved road and not far from the school.
“The old house had earth walls and a mud road. Now, the wind can’t reach us and we are sheltered from the rain. The road is convenient too. Life will get better,” Wang Gangkui, the boy’s father, told Peng Pai News on Sunday (Jan 6).
Although it takes Wang minutes to walk to school from home, he has chosen to stay at the school’s new dormitory, reported the People’s Daily on Monday.
Wang’s school now has better heating facilities, a new laboratory, an art room, computers and electronic learning materials - contributions from both the government and the public, the Chinese report said.
It was earlier reported that millions of yuan donated in Wang Fuman's name went to a government-run Yunnan Youth Development Foundation, which vowed to use the money to help impoverished kids in the province.
Wang had been offered a place at a private school earlier, but its principal asked him to return to his state school after a week due to the excessive media attention it received.
“Thank you, all the kind people who helped us. I will study hard and succeed on my own to repay you,” Wang was quoted as saying by People’s Daily.
He is a top student at the school and wants to be a policeman when he grows up, the report added.
His father, a construction worker, was also offered a job nearer to their home and now earns 200 yuan (S$40) a day, which is considered a good salary in their area.