Urban poverty is hidden (Hong Kong’s elderly scavengers)

For many Australians, Hong Kong is a prosperous city. But often poverty is hidden.

One in five people in Hong Kong live in poverty. Indeed, one in three elderly people live in poverty. An article in SCMP entitled “Hong Kong’s handcarts keep the city on a roll” (accessed on 20th Nov 2013) says something about the daily struggles they have. Here is an excerpt.

In the shadow of skyscrapers, Hong Kong’s working class trolley pushers transport everything from crates of live seafood to appliances, financial  documents, furniture and mail.

But among the street cleaners, market traders and removal men, it is probably the city’s elderly scavengers who best highlight how vital handcarts are to the city.

Lee Cheung-Ho, 78, spends all day pushing her cart, and says she even goes out when there is a typhoon.

“I have to go out and make a living,” she said without stopping. “It helps even if I can only earn a few dollars.”

The Hong Kong government said last month said that 1.31 million of its citizens were living in poverty.

Almost one in five is classified as poor and for the elderly the proportion rises to one in three, according to government data.

The scavengers fell well within that bracket, earning as little as HK$20 (US$3) a day.

The entire article can be found at SCMP here.

Or else you can watch it on the clip here.

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