The Weekend Leader - Friends in need

Compassionate colleagues take turn to drive ailing cab driver’s taxi to help his family



Vol 3 | Issue 38

A group of 50 taxi drivers in east China's Zhejiang province are selflessly driving an ailing co-worker's cab to help his family fight poverty and disease.

When taxi driver Xing Xuangen, 50, underwent surgery for a brain haemorrhage and was put under intensive care four weeks ago, his family of three were left in despair, said Xinhua.

Concept and Illustration: Kravmaga Sreeram

Xing, who has been in a coma ever since, was the family breadwinner as his wife was bed-ridden with breast cancer.

Doctors said he might suffer dementia and paralysis when he eventually wakes up.

As Xing's daughter Ni Yan was worrying about her father's illness and medical bills, Xing's colleagues brainstormed for ways to help.

"Xing is a kind-hearted man with a good reputation. We must help him out," said taxi driver Chen Ming, who works for the same taxi company in Zhejiang's capital Hangzhou.

The colleagues agreed cash donations could do little to help the family in the long run, as Xing and his wife needed a stable income to pay their medical bills.

"We decided to keep his cab running every day and give all the taxi fares to his family," said Chen.

More than 50 taxi drivers volunteered, taking turns to drive Xing's cab for a few hours or even a whole day.

"I drove my own cab last night, slept for a few hours and took Xing's cab during the day," said Chen.

Chen and his co-workers put a red heart alongside a sign reading "Save the ailing cabby" on Xing's cab, hoping more passengers would hire the car.

The move worked and passengers even offered to pay more.

"These taxi drivers are working selflessly to help their colleague," said passenger Tang Mingfei, who paid 20 yuan and told the driver to keep the change after a ride to work Friday morning. His ride cost only 11 yuan.

In four weeks, Xing's colleagues have earned more than 10,000 yuan in net profits. "We have given every cent to his family," said Chen.

Their move has moved thousands of citizens in Hangzhou. Internet users posted the license plate of Xing's taxi on website forums, calling on people to call the taxi as a priority.

A charity organization called on citizens to raise funds for Xing's medication.

Strangers have visited Xing's taxi company, bringing cash donations.

"I feel so grateful," said Xing's daughter Ni Yan. "I'm sure my father can feel other people's love and will recover soon." - IANS

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