Chinese schoolboy, 11, wins hearts by helping his mum sweep the streets

Chinese schoolboy, 11, wins hearts by helping his mum sweep the streets
Long Guotao started helping his mother, Wu Azhen, clean the streets in March.
PHOTO: Weibo/CCTV

An 11-year-old boy has won hearts in China after photos of him helping his cleaner mother sweep the streets so she could go home early were circulated on social media.

The schoolboy's efforts first gained attention when a passer-by posted the photos of him on Weibo, China's Twitter, back in March.

Armed with a dustpan and broom, Long Guotao was pictured sweeping a main street in Kaili, in southern Guizhou province, while his mother Wu Azhen rested nearby.

Long Guotao started helping his mother, Wu Azhen, clean the streets in March. Photo: Weibo/CCTV

Since then, the photos have continued to be a hit online, with many social media users praising the boy for his filial piety.

On Thursday, Guotao's proud mother told media "he is truly a great boy".

"Every day I have to go out at 5am to clean the streets, and by the time I finish dumping all the rubbish it is already very dark," Wu told Shanghai-based website Thepaper.cn.

"My younger son saw that it was exhausting for me, so he would regularly come out to help."

Long Guotao's mother said he saw how exhausting her job was so he would often help her. Photo: Weibo/CCTV

But the 46-year-old mother said she wanted her son to spend more time studying.

"His grades haven't been good recently. I don't let him come and help me now, so that he can spend more time studying at home," she was quoted as saying.

Wu said her son started helping her in March. They had planned to meet in an area where they could buy him a new schoolbag, but instead Guotao turned up where his mother was cleaning, took the broom off her and started sweeping the street.

"He would often come and help me. In the past, he would always deliver my meals at the weekends and help me clean a bit before he left," Wu told the news website.

"Sometimes when he finished sweeping, he would also help me pick up water bottles and bits of paper from the ground. The work is really too hard for someone so young."

But she said it had also provided a valuable lesson for her son, and Guotao now helped to tidy up at home and always put his rubbish in the bin.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.

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