A sanitation worker has become an unassuming hero in China after being spotted putting a pair of new socks on a homeless man.
The worker said the homeless man had told him that his feet felt cold, so he bought the socks for him, which cost six yuan (68p).
The kind-hearted road cleaner decided to put the socks on for the homeless man because the man’s hands are disabled, as he described.
The moving scene was captured by a passerby in the morning of April 18 on a street of Changchun, north-east China.
The passerby, named Zhao Hui, later submitted the pictures to New Culture Newspaper. The newspaper published the story on its front page today.
The story was widely shared by web users and media, drawing much attention to the worker’s kind behaviour.
Ms Zhao, 39, described the homeless man to be in his 60s. He has been staying outside a fruit stall on the city’s Minfeng Avenue for about a week.
Ms Zhao passes that fruit stall everyday on her way to work.
‘I was able to take the pictures because the sanitation worker spent four to five minutes putting the socks on,’ Ms Zhao told MailOnline.
‘The homeless man wasn’t collaborating when the sanitation worker put the socks on. He didn’t thank the sanitation worker either. I suspect he suffers from a mental illness,’ she added.
Ms Zhao said she saw the sanitation worker peeling the label off the new socks, then he bent down to put them on the homeless man.
After taking the pictures, Ms Zhao had to rush off to work. Later on, she decided to share her pictures because she was so touched by the sanitation worker’s action.
‘To be honest, I don’t think I could do it. To buy a new pair of socks for a homeless man is one thing, but to put them on him is another,’ the woman explained.
‘Normally, sanitation worker is considered a low-class occupation in China and the workers would often need help themselves. But this man is an unsung hero.’
The sanitation worker told a reporter from the New Culture Newspaper that he went to buy the socks after the homeless man told him that his feet were cold.
It rained in Changchun yesterday with the temperature being as low as two degrees Celsius.
The worker had seen the homeless man for a few days and gave him food often.
After buying the socks, he put them next to the homeless man, who told him that his hands could not move properly and that he couldn’t put them on by himself.
‘Then I thought why not help him so that the socks could serve their purpose,’ the sanitation worker told the reporter. ‘It was a small thing.’
Ms Zhao said when she saw the homeless man again today, she noticed that more people had helped him.
She said the man had been given a new sofa bed as well as a big coat to help him cope with the weather.
The homeless man was wearing the socks given by the sanitation workers when he was spotted today.