No 516 bus in Wuhan city in Hubei province has been operating a special service for 11 years to ferry a group of students suffering from cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome to school and back. Last week, a new driver was selected out of 2,000 applicants who also had submitted self-recommendation.
Sheng Jun, a 30-year-old father with a bachelor's degree in pharmacology and a former bus driver was chosen by the company as his background perfectly suited the work.
An employee of the company told Wuhan Evening News that they were surprised to see so many applicants given that the shift starts earlier than usual – at 5 am – and there’s no extra allowance.
No 516 bus runs on its regular route after transporting students to the school and dropping them at a designated stop where parents pick them up.
Apart from the busy schedule, the driver should also be capable of dealing with emergencies. Some children become impatient and agitated when there's a traffic jam while some start running on the bus or experience convulsion.
Sheng told Wuhan Evening News that he applied for the job was that his sister also suffers from Down syndrome. He wants to take care of others just like he takes care of his sister.
On Feb 13, the first day of his job, many children eyed him with suspicioun when they realized that their old driver was not there. But Sheng had done his homework. He had learnt their names through their photos he had requested from the school. The children quickly warmed up when he greeted them by calling their names.
Sheng said he felt moved many times in the first week of work. The children gradually accepted him and even sang for him. Once a boy even came close to him and kissed him on his cheek. On Friday, children invited him to dinner after school at the canteen, and he felt touched when they rushed to pick dishes for him.