Thailand – The visually impaired in Thailand helping one another fight Covid-19

09 August 2021

(ANS – Bangkok) – Thailand is undergoing a grave crisis from the Covid-19 pandemic especially from the “delta variant” which 70% of those infected are suffering from. Since the beginning of August, the statistics of those affected by the virus has risen to more than 20,000 persons/day (counting only those in the hospital system). At present, the sum total of those affected has reached 693,000 persons; the sum total of the deceased is 5,663. The average is that there are 9,318 people infected by the virus for every 1 million, making it the 40th country in the world with a high number of infections. Aside from this, the vaccination program of the state has been proceeding at a slow pace, and the vaccines available are not enough for the citizens. The government has announced the emergency situation, daily curfew has been imposed from 21.00-04.00 hrs. The schools have been teaching now online for three months. It is expected that in this school year the students will have to study online and cannot attend the school onsite for the whole year (statistics of 7 August 2021).

Because of this situation, a group of visually impaired people have been afflicted, some are positive, some others are in isolation because they have been in contact with the positive covid patients, they are at risk because they have to travel to earn a living. Some have received help from the local government unit, some others have not received yet any help, putting them in great difficulty.

Due to this predicament, the past trainees of the Skills Development Center for the Blind in Pakkret [this Center has been under the care of the Salesians] have pooled their resources together to put up "Funds From the Blind to Fight Covid-19" to lend initial help to those visually impaired affected by the virus, then sending them on to the health agencies concerned for further treatment. At the moment, this group of past trainees have helped their peers in two ways: by giving out food packages to those affected by Covid-19 and giving monetary help to those other blind people receiving treatment in the field hospitals, or those in home isolation.

This "funding initiative" has designated Fr. Charles Velardo, SDB as the Chairperson with the following past trainees as members, namely:

1. Captain Nitchan Supina - First vice-chairperson

2. Mr. Nopphadon Khemaratna - Second vice-chairperson

3. Mr. Thanong Manahan - Third vice-chairperson

4. Mr. Sawian Ngamsaeng - Secretary

5. Mr. Manop Takhienkham - Treasurer

6. Mr. Khamdee Sarawith - Public Relations

​​​​​​​“At this time of the Covid-19 crisis, one that can spread fast aside from the virus is the 'kindness' of people in the society. Even though there are various ways of helping and varying amounts of help extended, the central point of great importance is 'the mutual sharing',” the Thailand Salesian Social Communication Office states.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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