Thai man cycles 400 kilometres for justice after losing disability allowance

A Thai man, paralysed in both legs, devised a plan to cycle more than 400 kilometres from the northern province of Sukhothai to Bangkok in pursuit of justice after his disability allowance was cut off. Despite his plea for assistance, authorities declined to aid him in his endeavour.

A rescue team in the central province of Ang Thong accompanied the 48 year old Thai man, named Monthon Phetsang, to Chai Yo Police Station after they discovered he was travelling alone on a tricycle designed for people with disabilities on the Asian Highway on February 4.

Monthon explained to police officers and rescuers that he intended to travel to the Comptroller General’s Department (CGD) in Bangkok to verify his identity and disability status, aiming to receive an allowance of 800 baht per month.

Monthon revealed that he previously worked as a glass and wood engraver in Bangkok until a fall from the sixth floor of a building in 2014 left his leg paralysed. Consequently, he was unable to continue his previous occupation. Returning to his hometown of Sukhothai, he turned to crafting various products from coconut shells to make ends meet, albeit with limited financial success.

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He expressed gratitude for the support provided by the disability allowance, which had been a significant help to him. However, he noted that he had not received this allowance since 2020. Upon visiting the Sri Satchanalai District Office to inquire about the issue, Monthon was informed by district officers that he lacked an ID card.

The officers advised Monthon to travel to the CGD in Bangkok to verify his citizenship and entitlement to the allowance. Monthon, citing inconvenience, requested assistance from the officers. Regrettably, they declined his plea for help.

“This is all we can do. You have to help yourself on the trip to Bangkok.”

Refusing help

Monthon said he decided to cycle to Bangkok, taking over three weeks to arrive in Ang Thong province. Besides seeking justice for himself, Monthon expressed his desire to seek justice for all Thai people with disabilities, highlighting the government’s neglect and failure to provide proper welfare for this group.

After Monthon’s story went viral on social media, several government departments came forward to offer assistance. Officers promised to process the necessary documents for Monthon and urged him to halt his journey to Bangkok. However, he refused, expressing scepticism about the sincerity of the authorities.

Monthon is now in the central province of Ayutthaya, under close surveillance by local police officers who monitored his journey to ensure his safety on the road. Despite Mongkon’s insistence that he be allowed to travel independently, the officers persisted in accompanying him. Frustrated by their continuous presence, Mongkhon deliberately crashed his tricycle into a police truck as a form of protest.

In an interview with KaoSod, Monthon expressed his desire to travel to Bangkok alone to engage in discussions with CGD officers. He aimed not only to address his discontinued allowance but also to advocate for additional welfare support for individuals with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.

Monthon emphasised that he did not seek attention or donations. He preferred to pursue his intention alone and urged any authorities not to intervene in his plan.

Bangkok NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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