Dun Zuyi, a villager from Enshi in Hubei province, said in a video filmed by a group of university students that she would never leave her home for a care home unless her daughter, Liu Yinping, came back to see her again.
“You told me that you would come back after earning enough money, but now I could not even know which direction I can go to find you,” a tearful Dun said in the video.
“I will not go to the nursing home but will wait for you. Please come back.”
Liu left home at the age of 13 in 1999 with some neighbours to work in a factory in Guangdong, a coastal province then experiencing an economic boom that attracted millions of migrant workers from inland provinces like Hubei.
Liu sent money home from time to time, Dun said. And she came back to visit her mother in early 2004, but left three months later, for Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province.
“She told me that the factory [in Guangdong] was not doing well so she decided to go to Hangzhou,” Dun said in the video. “She said she would come back after earning enough money.”
|Dun Zuyi, the mother|
Villagers told Chutian Metropolis Daily that Dun brought up her daughter and a son on her own after her husband became severely disabled when the children were young.
In 1998, the son was killed in a coal mining accident at age 18, and Liu had to quit school and leave home for work to support the family.
Dun still keeps the work pass and uniform Liu left at home 14 years ago, and from time to time she takes them out, as physical reminders of her daughter.
The video of Dun touched the hearts of many when it was posted on the internet by students at Wuchang University of Technology, who were on a poverty relief trip in Enshi.
Viewers expressed deep empathy for Dun, and asked her daughter to return home.
“It’s not easy for the mother, please go home as soon as possible if you see the message,” one Weibo microblogger wrote.
“A mother may not be able to give you the best, but she will always be there to be a safe harbour for you in any storms,” another wrote.
Some expressed concern for Liu’s safety.
“Fourteen years without any contact? Let’s hope that the daughter was not in any accident,” someone wrote.
Local police said that they had collected a DNA sample of Dun in hopes of tracing her daughter.
Dun said she believed her daughter was alive.
“Please come home and let me see your face when I am still able to,” Dun begged in the video. “I can’t bear to live alone in the house anymore.”