Father’s daily 18-mile trek as he carries son with disabilities to school

Yu Xakang has been carrying his son up and down hill paths like this one in Sichuan province, China Picture: David and Jessie

A father in China has been carrying his son 18 miles up and down hills to school every day to ensure his physical disabilities mean he does not miss out on an education.

Devoted Yu Xukang, 40, uses a basket on his back to take 12-year-old Xiao Qiang to the only school prepared to accept him.

He told the Mail Online website: “I know that my son is physically disabled but there is nothing wrong with his mind.

“However, I couldn’t find any school here with the facilities to accept him and was constantly rejected.”

Yu Xukang lives in Fengyi township in Sichuan province. The only school that would take his son is four and a half miles away – but there is no public transport to it..

He said: Every morning I get up at 5am to prepare a lunch for him to eat and then I walk to the school and then come back here so I can work to earn money.

“I then walk back to the school to pick up my son and bring him home.”

There may be a happy outcome though. After his story was featured in Chinese media, the local government has offered Yu Xukang a rented room near the school and also adapt the school to take boarding students.

Children with disabilities can face major obstacles in getting access to good education, particularly in developing countries.

The first ever World Report on Disability, a joint publication by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, recommended actions for governments and their partners to tackle these issues.

A World at School held a Google Hangout on the education issues faced by children with disabilities. You can watch it here.