Editor: 文真真 诰佑 Seamoon
On June 21st, in Tongshan District, Chongqing Province, an event starting with several elementary school students having a good time at the local riverbank turned into a heart-wrenching tragedy. One of the students lost balance and fell into the river; the other 7 students lost their lives as well when they ventured to rescue their friend. When interviewed by the Urban South News reporter, the grandfather of one of the victims spoke out about the tragedy. He disclosed to the Urban South News: “Some of the kids on the shore tried to call the local helpline during the onset of the event, but it took them many efforts to get hold of any support. If someone had responded more promptly, the calamity could have been avoided.” The senior couple has endured a lot of financial obstacles throughout the years; now with further physical and emotional complications from the loss of their beloved granddaughter, the road ahead seems even more dismal. Besides, the Tongnan District’s municipal staffers have started the death aftercare process, including offering mental health guidance. They have also notified the corresponding family members to identify the bodies of the deceased to complete the signing-off procedure. The entire process is very poignant for the family members.
The tragedy of these 8 young souls and their families should alert all the people in China, especially those near water sources, otherwise it may not be the only case we would learn from the news. As of June 22nd, the Chinese State Council has issued its 3rd warning against a higher rate of drowning accidents due to severe weather in the upcoming months, including extremely high temperatures and heavy rainfall. Schools are expected to take more precaution towards drowning accidents and conduct sufficient preventative measures.
This Tongshan Drowning Incident exposed multi-faceted issues ingrained in Chinese society and its educational system. The Chinese government has been notorious for using its propaganda to abet its fellow citizens to sacrifice their individual lives in the name of “selflessness” for the sake of “great honor”. Starting at a very young age, children were instilled with the false values of “putting all others above ourselves”. Nevertheless, no one has ever asked: “at what cost, with what consequence? or is it really for the greater good?” What is imperative for us as a society is to teach our future generation to question information with courage, speak up for themselves with integrity, and most crucially, to love themselves first without a sense of doubt. If not, more and more innocent lives will continue to perish under false indoctrination.