Father Commits Suicide Because of One-Child Policy Payments

Source: WRIC                        Translated by: Anna Li and Wendy Mei



37 year-old farmer and father of four, Wang Guang Rong, took his own life because of the “more than one child fine”. The “more than one child fine” and the related birth control policy payments are the main reason for this family’s tragedy.


According to the Beijing Times, on March 3, 2013, on the day of school enrollment, the 37-year-old farmer in Guizhou, Wang Guang Rong, couldn’t afford to pay the 22,500 yuan “more than one child fine”, and killed himself with an art blade. According to the recent reporter’s research, the act of  family planning policy and other policies “bundled” together is quite common.


Registration Required With a “Birth Certificate”


Wong Guang Rong has four children; the eldest daughter and second daughter are in the seventh grade and attend Wan Tuen school, while his youngest daughter and son attended the village’s primary school. Before the semester began, the illiterate farmer was informed that his family records stated that he had more than one child and that he had to pay a fine.  When he ran to the birth control station to ask for information, he was told he had to pay a total of 22,500yuan.


The person responsible for charging this family with fines was Wan Tun village’s Family Planning and Health Services Center’s Wu Wan Bin. Wang Guang Rong had two extra children, and the total “social compensation fee” for them was 18,000yuan (approx. $2917);for Wang’s second daughter, he had to pay the “super pregnant fee” and “undocumented birth fee” which added up to 4,500yuan (approx. $729); altogether this was 22,500yuan or $3646 US dollars.


These “more than one child fines” made Wang Guang Rong frustrated and he went to the Birth Control Station once more.  According to Wu Jin Min, her husband had told her that they could pay 18,000yuan all at once, however, if they couldn’t pay the rest in time then the overdue fines would be doubled.


Over the course of several days, Wu Jin Min observed her husband growing more quiet, occasionally sighing in front of her.  “The kids are not doing well in school. They will become illiterate like us later on”, he’d say.  Guang Rong, who had never liked asking for help, began giving acquaintances a call, but often ended up disappointed.


About a week before school began, the village’s primary school posted a sign under the dam gate informing parents of the school enrollment deadline and the materials needed, which included the paid fine of the child’s “proof of birth”.


Suicide on the First Day of School


Tang Yong Jiang, a villager, said that many families were borrowing or selling animals to get money. But Wang Guang Rong had nothing to sell, with the money he borrowed and the 3 old houses he’d bought from his neighbor as well as the pig and five chickens he’d sold, he couldn’t cobble together 18,000 yuan.


On the third day after the school’s notice was posted, parents started to enroll their children. Wu Jin Min found her husband awake that morning, yet he did not get up. Their 10-year-old daughters asked their father for allowance money, but he said no and told them, “go find your mother”. They said they wanted to get their birth certificates and again he said no. The three daughters recall their father had to cross several “birth certificate”.


The children left the house around 7 o’clock.


Wang Guang Rong’s father went out at 8:00, and Guang Rong’s brother, Wang Fu, came over. When Wong Guang Rong said he had leg pain, Wang Fu took out $500 and threw it on the bed. Wang Fu said Wang Guang Rong owed ​​him 4,000 yuan in total, and that most of the times, he gave because he felt pity for him.


At 9 o’clock Guang Rong’s mother, Liu Hui Xiang, personally came to see her son, and give him 100 dollars. “I said take it to pay off the fees, but he said no, and that I do not understand.”


Wu Jin Min went out around 11 o’clock, and their neighboring village’s uncle Li Wan Hua stopped by the house. Lee Wan Hua said the two men were drinking together. When he ventured to ask Guang Rong if he had borrowed money, Wang replied: “Two of my kids might not do well in school, and I’ve been borrowing money from everywhere in the village.”


After lunch at around 12 o’clock, Wu Jin Min went to help the neighbors. Before leaving, Wang Guang Rong said he felt cold, and wanted to rest on his bed for a while before going.


Around 12:50 or so, a neighbor told Wu Jin Min that a “pop” sound had come from her house, and Wu quickly ran home to find Guang Rong kneeling at the bedside, his head in a pit in the ground and already covered in the cold , “the pit was filled with blood.” Subsequently, her husband found her.


Wu Jin Min remembered, her husband was still chatting about their child’s registration a few days before his suicide. That rarely happened in the past. “He always said to let their child to be educated, unlike us.”


Father with Multiple Children Becomes Sick and Poor


In 2000, Wu Jin Min gave birth to a daughter, and after two years, she had a second daughter, meaning that the couple had reached the maximum number of children allowed.


Wang Guang Rong had four brothers, and the idea of patriarchy was valued. Since the oldest brother Wang Fu had no sons, being the second oldest brother meant that he had to have a boy. When his daughter was two years old, Wang Guang Rong and his wife went to the nearest town to work and build some small businesses. During that time, they had a third child, also a girl. When Wang Guang Rong’s wife was pregnant for a fourth time, he was more excited and even opened a honeycomb of small factories.


According to Wang’s family member, in 2004, a friend borrowed one hundred dollars from Wang Guang Rong. Wang Guang Rong asked for the money back, but his friend refused to return the money and threatened him. A fight broke out during the argument, and Wang Guang Rong stabbed the his friend with a knife. After the event Wang’s family had to move from Zheng Tun to Xin Yi, where he worked at a tunnel. Not long after, an accident happened and he had a waist injury. Discharged from the hospital after one month he soon realized that he had bladder stone.


According to locals, the injured man stayed in the hospital for a while and went home. On the other side of the coin, Wang Guang Rong went into jail in 2006 and released in 2010. When Wang Guang Rong was released, his son was already 4 years old, and paying off debt became his primary goal. Since he wasn’t cultured or had any skills, he only could find physical work. Before commiting suicide he worked as a mason in Kunming. Wu Jin Ming said the family is often “shaky”, they have a bank loan of thirty thousand. The bank loan was used to repay the debt.


Local Government Denies Any Relation with Fines


After 2004, due to improper one-child policy enforcement, Xingyi had two members from the one-child policy department killed in murder cases. Nearby villagers said that after the murder cases, the one-child policy department’s enforcement was obviously less harsh. Relevant departments are also exploring other ways of enforcement, the imposition of the original enforcement became less strict with “bundling laws” -, people will violate on the birth control policy.


Reporters investigated relevant information and found, in 2011, Xingyi City had begun to base voluntary education on the one child policy.


However, an anonymous source told the reporters that the educational system is unsatisfied with the one-child policy department, “voluntary education is also national policy”. The leaders of the educational system mentioned that we can’t prohibit children from having their education because of the one child policy.


After Wang Guang Rong died, the local officials stated Guang Rong’s death had nothing to do with the “one-child policy fine”, and other reasons are “currently being investigated”. The four kids were enrolled in school. At the same time, Wu Jin Ming received $60,000 in funeral expenses and the government’s commitment to help its housing. But Wu Jin Ming told the reporters that after her husband committed suicide that afternoon, her three daughters came back from Xia Bei elementary school, and asked for the “more than one-child certificate”.


Coincidentally, the next day after Wang Guang Rong’s death, the local media reported on March 3rd, Southwest Guizhou Committee Secretary Sang Wei Liang held a meeting. The conference formed a consensus: The original idea of education is “both trusting and promising” is nonexistence.


The reporter’s inquiry found out that this is the only region in Guizhou, which clearly expresses that voluntary teaching with the one-child policy are executed together.