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Noteworthy in Sweeping

Shang Wuyi: Sweeping with Noteworthy Dedication

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Despite having one of his legs amputated and being born deaf and mute, a hardworking Chinese man won the hearts of people and inspired others with his incredible passion for work – which he has done at 4am every day for 12 years – be it rain or shine, snow or sleet.

Now, with this feature article at and installation into our 'Noteworthy in Power Sweeping' hall of fame, there's no doubt those in the American and world sweeping industry will be amazed and impressed, as well.

Shang Wuyi, a 46-year-old street sweeper, dedicated his life to his work and never let his disabilities stop him from being a committed employee. For 12 years, Shang has gone to work every 4 am to sweep four streets in Xi'an, a provincial capital of China. Although he cannot hear or speak and has only one leg, his disabilities have never stopped his passion for work. Rain or shine, even through thick snow – without taking a single day off.

Mr. Shang says he loves working because he was born on May 1, which is the International Workers' Day, according to People's Daily Online, citing the local Huashang Newspaper. Shang serves as an inspiration for others with disabilities to not let their condition stop them from working or learning as well as for employers to be open to hiring people despite their disabilities.

Shang WujiHe sweeps the roads with the help of a walking stick, and is more hardworking than any of his colleagues. Mr. Shang's wife Wang Yaqin is also a road sweeper and she works alongside her husband.

The couple, who have been married for 21 years, are required to sweep four streets, which are about 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) long in total. Mr. Shang and his sister were both born deaf because their mother was deaf. He lost his left leg when he was seven after being run over by a train because he couldn't hear the locomotive coming, his wife says.

A colleague, Mr. Yao, told Huashang Newspaper that their shifts start from 4:30am, but Mr. Shang and Ms Wang choose to arrive half an hour earlier every day. 'When everyone else arrives at work, he and his wife would have already started,' said Mr. Yao.

Shang Wuji Shovels Snow"If his wife is ill and has to take a day off, he would come at 3am (to ensure work is done), says Mr. Yao, adding "He has been like this every day for 12 years. To the best of my recollection, Shang Wuyi has never taken a day off." Mr. Shang's wife said their life depends on the job. "Although he can't talk, I know he cherishes the job a lot," said his wife. "He knows his body has disabilities, so he has to work even harder than the others to keep his job."

Mr. Shang's boss, Mr. Huang, said he was previously worried if Mr. Shang could handle his job. "But according to my observation, Shang Wuyi could complete his tasks well. He's not only hardworking, but sweeps the roads very clean," said Mr. Huang. A recent video of Mr. Shang removing snow from the streets in Xi'an, linked below, has gone viral, attracting the dedicated man much praise.

As a local restaurant owner put it: 'Looking at his back makes me feeling touched, especially when he bends down to pick up cigarette butts. I'm sure whoever sees that image would feel moved too.'

WorldSweeper is proud to add this notable Chinese sweeping industry worker, Shang Wuji, to our Noteworthy in Sweeping database. If you have questions or comments, feel free to let us know.

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