Chinese Woman Has Been Living in a Cave for 2 Years After Her Family Abandoned Her

Photographs of an abandoned old woman living in a cave have gone viral on Chinese social media, after she was spotted there by locals. When interviewed, 52-year-old Du Meiying said that she had been living in the damp cave for two years, since her family was going through a financial crisis and could no longer support her.

Du had initially lived in a room at a council house, but had to leave the place after she had a row with her elderly neighbors. With nowhere else to go, she was forced to move into a 100-sq-meter cave on the outskirts of Yichang city, in Hubei province. The woman has managed to keep herself alive for three years by collecting rainwater to drink, cook and clean with. For food, she grows cabbages outside the cave using seeds donated by a local farmer. She’s also made a bed for herself using bamboo canes, and an abandoned wooden crate serves as her table.


Du is unemployed, which means she solely depends on the 100-yen-a-month ($16) welfare that she receives from the government. But ever since news of her plight spread around the nearby Toudinshi village, residents have been helping her as well. They visit her every month to bring her rice and other supplies.


Du explained that her cave lifestyle has affected her health quite badly. She has two pairs of trousers and two donated coats to get her through the winter, but her only pair of shoes have fallen apart. “I don’t know what the future holds for me,” she said. “I don’t have anywhere to go, so I will stay here where I at least have a roof over my head.” But she does dream of living in a real room again someday.




Photos: Chinanews

via Shanghaiist

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