While Bill Gates and Warren Buffet vow to give away half of their fortunes to the world, this real-estate mogul in China momentarily sidesteps from her wealth and cleans the streets of Wuhan instead.


Fifty-three-year-old Chinese property millionaire Youzhen Yu is no ordinary street sweeper. She owns 17 flats and other real estate properties. But instead of savoring her sweet financial rewards after years of climbing up the success ladder, she cleans and scrubs empty trash bins and sweeps a bustling two-mile road in Wuhan, central China.

Ms. Yu, however, does it for a rather motherly cause: to show her children that life is about hard work.

Now, according to a Chinese newspaper, even her children follow in her footsteps as her son works as a driver, earning £200 a month. Her daughter also has an undisclosed job that pays £300 per month. Ms. Yu, on the other hand, receives £130 from Wuchang District Urban Management Bureau for her job as a cleaner.

Ms. Yu is perhaps a classic rags-to-riches figure in China, making her way to financial prosperity as she hitched a ride in the country’s economic reforms in the 1980s. The major economic overhaul opened the country’s doors to a rather modified form of capitalistic theme defined by restrictions that have maintained China’s socialst identity.

Ms. Yu and her husband immediately took advantage of the more relaxed policies by investing in real estate, initially constructing three five-storey village houses. Cash slowly and steadily trickled in as they put the buildings up for rent. Today, the couple owns 21 properties in total, earning a regular flow of revenue that comes mostly from property rentals.

Now, it seems that money fills her bank account as fast as dirt and trash accumulate in the streets of Wuhan. But she turns away from her fortune and scrapes the streets clean instead.