The Chinese public have rallied to help a poor kid whose hair actually became frozen stiff during a painfully long walk to school in the cold.

The third-grade pupil, believed to be called Wang Fuman, spent an hour walking 4.5km (2.8 miles) to school in -9C (15.8F) weather recently to sit an exam in a small town outside the city of Shaotong, according to People's Daily Online.

The eight-year-old schoolboy then became an internet sensation after a shocking photo surfaced, which showed how he was left with icicles in his hair after the arduous trudge in Arctic conditions in the south-western province of Yunnan.

Fuman doesn't come from the most well-off family - according to Pear Video, he lives in a mud hut with his grandma and his older sister. He doesn't see his parents often as they are migrant workers living in other cities.

Credit: AsiaWire
Credit: AsiaWire

People were so moved by the heart-breaking photo that they reached to their wallets to see what they could do - and since his story went viral, a total of 2,159,100.58 yuan (£245,000/$336,000) has been donated to Fuman and his school.

The boy studies at the Zhuanshanbao Primary School in Xinjie Town, Ludian County, and the school's headteacher said that his travelling far to get to school is a daily occurrence.

Headmaster Fu said: "It was the first day of their final exams. The temperatures dropped to minus nine degrees Celsius in about 30 minutes that morning."

However, Fu said the boy didn't even seem that phased.

"The child is cute. He pulled a funny face to his classmates," he said.

The Yunnan Youth Development Foundation said it had received donations sent in for Fuman or his school. The state-run foundation also explained that, working with the local Zhaotong Youth Development Foundation, it would manage the funds on behalf of Fuman and his peers.

Credit: AsiaWire
Credit: AsiaWire

The charity organisation said that each student at Zhuanshanbao Primary School will individually receive 500 yuan (£56/$77).

People in China are full of admiration for Fuman, as many users on the Chinese social media site Weibo left encouraging messages for him, hoping life will get easier for him if he works hard.

"Study hard to change your destiny. I believe you can," said one user on Weibo.

However, the viral photo also highlighted the huge wealth gap that presides in China today.

"The wealth gap in China is too big," one user said. "Whenever I see news like this, I think of the weak side behind China's prosperous appearance."

Featured Image Credit: AsiaWire

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist at LADbible. Jess graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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