Chinese students draw online flak after cleaners piggyback them through floodwaters

Students from Liupanshui Normal College tried to stay dry by standing on benches and being carried by cleaners.
Students from Liupanshui Normal College tried to stay dry by standing on benches and being carried by cleaners.PHOTO: NEWS.CHINA

Students balancing on benches and making their way through floodwaters to get to school might sound like a noble effort at pursuing education. However, photographs of a group of students from Liupanshui Normal College in Guizhou province doing just this on June 15 went viral for all the wrong reasons.

The problem? The floodwaters were less than ankle-deep, and the students were being carried on the backs of the school's cleaning staff.

According to the China News Service, the area had been hit by heavy downpours which inundated the roads. Benches were lined up along the ground, and cleaners were deployed to carry the students to the school.

Online condemnation was swift, with many saying that the students were spoilt and "giant babies".

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), one netizen wrote: "For kindergarten kids, it's fine, but for university students, I don't understand that!"

In 2014, a Chinese Communist Party official was sacked after photos showed him riding on another person through a flooded area in order to protect his shoes from ankle-high water.

The incident took place during a search for three primary schoolchildren who had fallen into a river in the central province of Jiangxi, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Netizens at the time were outraged, with one Weibo user saying: "The students are missing, and still he's trying to save his damn shoes? And this kind of scumbag can become a government official?"

The year before, yet another Chinese official was removed from his post after taking a piggyback ride from a villager while visiting flood victims.