This is the heartbreaking, true story of a little boy in China named He Zili. He’s 11 years old, and he spends most of his days chained up like a dog in the province of Zhejiang. The reason why is tough to handle.
When Zili was only 1 year old, he suffered a head injury that sparked mental problems.
He is often shackled to his father – like a dog.
This story really highlights the problems with how mental disorders are handled in rural China.
Zili is currently being looked after by his physically disabled grandfather and his intellectually handicapped father after his mother died of cancer.
They stated that there was no choice but to chain Zili up because he was attacking people around him.
The horrifying photos are tough to look at it. He’s a small boy without a chance.
His partially paralyzed grandfather struggles every single day with Zili, unable to truly help him and resorting to this slave-like method of treatment.
A neighbor cautiously looks through her door as Zili runs by…still shackled.
He even sleeps with the chain around his leg. The conditions they live in are terrible enough, even without the chain.
His grandfather wipes away tears, thinking about Zili’s condition and their terrible struggles.
There’s only 1.5 psychiatrists per 100,000 people in China. In rural China, those with mental disorders don’t even stand a chance. People, even young boys like Zili, are forced to live lives worse than some dogs because of this ongoing problem.
It’s difficult to help children like Zili, but several organizations do exist to aid rural China. One is called Free The Children that you can check out if you’d like to help. If you know of any others, feel free to e-mail us the links.
Share this article if you’d like to raise awareness of Zili’s struggles. He, and others like him, need help.