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High school students praised for helping ailing stranger

TAIPEI -- The story of three Taipei high school students who stopped to help an elderly man unable to care for himself featured prominently in local papers Monday as an example of good Samaritanism.

Several passers-by took pictures of the three Daren Girls High School students as they helped the elderly man, who suffers from incontinence, clean waste from his pants legs at a bus stop in Taipei's Neihu District Saturday. The pictures and story received a warm reception from web users and the media.

“I would have regretted it for the rest of my life if I hadn't helped him,” said Yu Kuan-wei, 17, one of the students interviewed by local newspapers.

Yu's classmate Lin Heng-an, 18, said they noticed the smell coming from the seated elderly man while waiting for a bus after school.

Suspecting the man had stepped in dog excrement, Yu, Lin and their schoolmate Yang Kai-ying stopped to help out. It wasn't until they kneeled down that they realized his problem was incontinence.

With tissues and wet paper towels provided by other students, the three went to work cleaning up the pants legs of the frail man, who said only that he was ill.

Yu and her friends then collected a small amount of money to call a taxi for the man so that he could get home.

The incident made the students get home an hour late, but they were greeted with encouragement, not anger, by their families, Lin said.

The Internet has also sung their praise, with some web users admitting that they would not have been able to bring themselves to do the same.

After hearing the news, the school said it will commend the three students for their good deed.

“We are really proud of them,” said Principal Maria Wu.

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