CPPCC Session 2002   

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CPPCC to help disadvantaged     
   TUE, MAR 05, 2002    

As China's commitment to opening-up and market economy adds to the population's wealth, there are still many Chinese struggling to survive. The CPPCC session is looking at ways to increase the prosperity of those who fall between the cracks.

A group of CPPCC members comes from a charity organization. Their discussions have been focusing on how to help the disadvantaged, including the poverty-stricken rural population, laid-off workers and handicapped people.

A member said, "Children are our link to the future. There are still lots of children dropping out of school because of poverty. It's an urgent issue for China."

"Now, senior citizens make up 10 percent of China's population. It's our responsibility to help the elderly enjoy the rest of their lives."

According to some estimates, by the end of 2001, more than 12 million people lived below the poverty line in China. CPPCC members are calling for a social mechanism to help destitute people.

A third one said, "Helping the poor is not only a government responsibility, but also personal responsibility. We can establish a charity fund to collect money from the public and business. "

The CPPCC members have come up with a proposal on the issue which will be handed to China's Ministry of Civil Affairs.

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