The Lost Children of Coal
In China's Shanxi province the rate of children born with congenital defects is six times the national average. With many of these infants abandoned, a remarkable figure has embarked on a heartbreaking mission.
Kong Zhenlan's 31 adopted children were all born with defects and abandoned by their poverty-stricken parents in an area devastated by coal pollution. "When I started claiming for these children's rights, the officials would insult me." The tiny but indomitable 'Mama Kong' stood up to the bullying for the sake of her constantly growing brood. "They tried to intimidate me to make me give up. They don't dare anymore." For over 20 years she has fought for identity cards, operations to fix their deformities and a place at school for each child. Mama Kong's work may be a drop in the ocean, but thanks to her this small group of youngsters now have the rare chance of a normal life.