Photographs of three young, female students squatting on the ground to clean excrement off the legs of an elderly man apparently suffering from incontinence have touched the hearts of myriad netizens, many of whom have praised the trio for their kindness.
The three students — Lin Heng-an (林恆安), Yu Kuan-wei (余冠薇) and Yang Kai-yin (楊凱茵) — are seniors at Taipei’s Ta-Ren Girls’ Senior High School.
According to Ai Ming-chu (艾明珠), the school’s director of student affairs, the three came across the elderly man as they waited for a bus on Saturday afternoon.
“The students originally thought that the man had stepped on dog poo because he was emitting an unpleasant odor. However, when they were trying to help clean what they believed was dog feces off of him, they realized that it was his own stool,” Ai said.
Worried that bus drivers might refuse to let the man on board because of the smell, they decided to hail a taxi for him and gave the cabbie NT$300 to pay for the ride, she added.
A passerby recorded the students’ benevolent act and posted the pictures on Facebook that same day, eliciting an outpouring of plaudits and admiration from netizens, some of whom admitted that they would not have been able to do the same.
“What a touching and commendable act of kindness. Benevolence does exist in Taiwan still,” one person wrote in response to the pictures.
The school held a ceremony yesterday morning to publicly honor the students for their charity and awarded each a special commendation.
Ai quoted the trio as saying that what they did was “normal” and that they had helped the man because they knew they “would regret it” otherwise.
“The school has endeavored to instill in students the importance of loving and helping others, through activities such as field trips to elderly care centers or the collection of receipts for charitable organizations,” Ai said.
The students’ Good Samaritan act is especially admirable in a society where young people tend to turn a blind eye to those in need, she added.