Legendary Mountain Postman, Trusted Link To Outside World, Passes Away


Wang Shunyou, a 56-year-old postman who had worked in remote mountainous areas for more than 30 years, died of an illness on Sunday in Muli Tibetan autonomous county, Sichuan province.

Wang Shunyou extended postal delivery service to remote villages, giving villagers in the deep mountains a communication channel to the outside world.

In 1984, at the age of 19, Wang took over the job from his father who was also a postman. He spent more than 330 days a year alone on the delivery road, with a total travel distance of about 260,000 kilometers, according to a report by Xinhua News Agency.

For more than 30 years, Wang never delayed a shift or lost a piece of mail: His delivery accuracy rate was 100 percent, the report said. He once jumped into a river to retrieve fallen parcels, and he encountered a landslide but still delivered the mail and parcels as scheduled.

He delivered more than 8,400 newspapers, 330 magazines, 840 letters and 600 parcels every year on average, building a message bridge for villagers of all ethnic groups deep in the mountains.

Located in Sichuan province adjacent to the Tibetan Plateau, Muli Tibetan autonomous county is surrounded by mountains and sparsely populated, with only nine people per square kilometer on average. Twenty-eight of 29 townships of the county do not have access to transportation or cellphone signals. The only way for the people to keep in touch with the outside world is through human delivery on horseback.

In 2005, Wang was selected as one of the 10 honorees in the annual Touching China program. He is, as described on his award speech, "as simple as a stone, a man, a horse, a legend in the postal history of the world".

----------China Daily News