Chinese city shuts down messy 'wall of kindness'

By News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring

Image source, Yunnan TV
Image caption,
People in China have been urged to hang unwanted clothes on designated walls across the country

A charitable project to collect warm clothes for homeless people in China has closed after turning into a "dump", state media report.

The collection centre, dubbed "the wall of kindness", was located in an underpass at a railway station in Kunming, southern Yunnan province. A row of coat hangers was put up there for people to leave their unwanted clothes and thus "prevent the homeless from shivering in the cold winter", the China News Service reports.

But on Sunday - less than 10 days after opening - the authorities closed the collection point down after locals complained that the site had become a huge mess. One resident described the scene as "a shocking clothes dumpster", the South China Morning Post reports. A local homeless man told reporters at the scene that he was grateful for the donations, but many of the clothes were completely unusable.

The Kunming charity wall is one of a number that have sprung up across China recently, after first appearing in Iran in late 2015. They have been hailed by the official press, but some social media users accuse the government of failing to manage them properly. "These clothes are not garbage, it is just that nobody is managing these disorderly donations!" wrote one Yunnan resident. According to the South China Morning Post, other collection points in China are facing similar problems.

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