A university cleaner never imagined her kindhearted action to assist young students across ankle-deep water would ignite a wave of negative reaction and sarcasm toward the female students she helped.
Wu Xiuying, 50, a cleaner at Wuhan Media and Communications College, Central China Normal University in Hubei province, carried the students after a day of rain on Tuesday left water 10 centimeters deep in front of a teaching building.
A series of pictures showing a young woman holding an umbrella and books as Wu carried her on her back were uploaded on Tuesday night by a teacher on his micro blog.
The teacher praised Wu's kind heart, but most comments were negative, criticizing the students for being too weak and worrying about their future because they couldn't overcome the difficulty of crossing the water.
Wu could not be reached by China Daily on Thursday.
"I have three children their age," Wu was quoted as saying by Wuhan Evening News. "When I saw some girls stuck in front of the water and possibly late for class, I offered them help without hesitation, like helping my children. Next time I'd do it again."
When she heard that many people blamed the students, saying they were selfish and pampered, she said: "It was my decision to carry them on my back, and they thanked me a lot. I just wanted to help them, but what I did brought trouble instead. What can I do now?"
Zhang Hui, an official from the college, said some students were sad to hear of the criticism.
Many other male students also carried classmates across the water on Tuesday. Even Ma Shihao, 61, a professor in the university, helped several students when they left the classroom at 4 pm.
"People are willing to help others in trouble, so please understand their kind hearts, and show tolerance to students who receive their help," Zhang said.