Thai elderly woman abandoned by children struggles to survive

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Abandoned and suffering from a medical condition requiring surgery, Orratai, 84 years old, was left to fend for herself, despite having four children. She had attempted to reach out to her daughter, living in a luxury house in the Ram 2 area, but was denied entry.

Orratai was discovered by the Sai Mai Must Survive team, alongside officials from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. They had been alerted to her situation by a neighbour, who reported that the elderly woman was living alone in a house on Sukhapibal 5 Road, Sai Mai district. The utilities in her house had been cut off, and she was struggling to survive with no one to care for her, despite having four children, all of whom she had put through private schools and reputable universities.

After her children had moved out and started their own families, they had abandoned Orratai. She had previously tried to visit her daughter at her house in the Ram 2 area, but despite waiting outside the house all day, no one had come to open the door for her. Eventually, unable to endure the heat, she had to return home.

Upon arrival at her daughter’s house, the luxury property with a high-end car parked outside was found to be empty. A neighbour, Ann (Pseudonym), revealed that she had often seen the elderly woman waiting outside her daughter’s house. She had offered Vetnaya a chair to sit on and allowed her to use her bathroom. Vetnaya would typically arrive in a taxi, but more often than not, she would not find anyone at home or, if her daughter was home, she would not come out to meet her.

On investigation, Orratai revealed that she had raised her four children single-handedly, putting them through education. Her youngest daughter, the one she had given the highest level of education, was the one she was trying to reach. Despite having little education herself, Orratai had made sacrifices hoping her children would have better lives and support her in her old age.

Currently, Orratai’s utilities in her house have been cut off. She is surviving on a monthly pension for the elderly and disabled of 1,600 baht (US$46.72), occasionally supplemented by her friends. She relies on her neighbours for food, and when she can afford it, she buys boxed meals for 25 baht each, which she divides into two meals.

Orratai also revealed her health issues. She has a bone disease, particularly affecting her spine, and requires surgery. She had tried to contact her children for approval for the surgery, but none responded.

In a teary revelation, Orratai expressed her wish to see her children. She lamented over the fact that unlike other families, she had no one to share meals with during the New Year, and spent it crying outside her house, reported Sanook.

Peerapol Sonkhai, Director of the Elderly Social Welfare Development Centre, Pathum Thani province, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, expressed the necessity for Orratai’s children to understand the situation and take responsibility. He offered to mediate the communication between Orratai and her children and encouraged them to contact the ministry at any time at 02-577-1815.

Thailand News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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