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Retired Teacher Donate 4.5 Mln Yuan to Build School in Quake Zone

A retired teacher in Shanghai has auctioned her apartment for 4.5 million yuan (US$652,174) and donated all the money to build a school in earthquake-battered Sichuan Province.

Widow Shen Cuiying, 61, who formerly taught at a school for the deaf and dumb, sold her apartment in a charity auction Thursday afternoon to raise funds to build a quake-resistant school in Dujiangyan City, Sichuan.

A local company bought the three-room apartment, which has a floor space of 147.82 square meters.

"My apartment can give traumatized children a strong school. It's quite worthy," Shen said.

Shen retired from the school in 1991 and was doing business for several years. She lives in retirement now.

The apartment is one of the two Shen bought in 2001 in Shanghai and was her biggest single piece of property, according to people familiar with her.

The apartment used to bring her a monthly rent of about 8,000 yuan.

Shen herself lives in the other apartment and survives on a pension of less than 2,000 yuan.

Netizens have praised her selflessness and acclaimed her as "the best retired teacher in history."

Shen had donated 2,000 yuan to the local Red Cross society shortly after the May 12 earthquake, which has claimed more than 69,000 lives.

(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2008)

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