Left behind, 15-year-old boy commits suicide in Yunnan

"Dad, When I die, you will be happy because you won’t be bothered anymore,” the boy writes in suicide note. China has 61 million left-behind children, the population of Great Britain. Children are often raised in conditions of social deprivation. The government is trying to deal with the problem.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – A 15-year-old boy in Yunnan took his own life by drinking pesticide on Lunar New Year’s Eve after years of neglect and abuse at the hands of his father, the Chuncheng Evening Post reported.

Before he took a lethal dose of poison, the unnamed boy left a heart-wrenching letter in which he attributed his extreme action to years of suffering at the hands of his violent father, a migrant worker, also from Yunnan.

“During every Lunar New Year, I was blamed and yelled at ... Dad, When I die, you will be happy because you won’t be bothered anymore,” the boy writes in the note.

In his suicide note, the boy decried the extreme abuse and vitriol he faced at home during the annual spring festival whenever his migrant worker father returned.

In it, he says he was raised by his grandparents, who are in their 70s, because his parents worked away from home in another city, and rarely came home except for holidays.

‘I don’t want to add any more burden on you, Mum and Dad’, the 15-year-old says.

The sad note goes on to describe how he was neglected by his parents throughout the year, and that during the holidays he would go through a real ordeal since his father would take out his anger and frustration on him.

“During the Lunar New Year season this year and last year, I have never had a good day. Last year, my dad beat me and yelled at me all because of the most trivial things. Because of that, I spent my whole year crying.”

The boy's death and the message caused quite a stir across China, where leaving children behind is widespread, especially in rural areas.

Low wages, poor housing, and municipal bans make it impossible for many parents to bring their children to the cities where they work.

The so-called left-behind children spend most of the year without their parents who moved to the big cities of the coast in search of work.

The latest government report on internal migration estimates that some 61 million left-behind children live in China's countryside. This is the equivalent of the population of Great Britain. Of these, more than a third are under 17. However, independent studies indicate that this is an underestimation.

Leaving children behind is a great social problem for China and has led to countless tragedies that have shocked the whole nation.

These children, who are often raised by grandparents, or in some cases simply abandoned, have attracted increasing public attention as they are often involved in suicides, accidents and juvenile delinquency due to the absence of adult supervision and family support.