Connect with us


Phuket Rotary Club rolls out high-tech devices for the disabled



PHUKET: The lives of nine disabled people from Phuket and Phang Nga took a turn for the better on Thursday when they took possession of high-tech wheelchair “pullers” donated by local and international chapters of Rotary International.

The handover ceremony, at Queen Sirkit Park on Thalang Road, was presided over by Sanguan Kunaporn, head of the Rotary Club of Tongkah and a nominee for the governorship of Rotary District 3300, which covers Phuket and Phang Nga.

Dr Sanguan, a world-renowned surgeon, said the handover was part of a larger 1.2-million-baht project to provide a total of 40 similar units to people unable to walk.

The pullers, designed by Thammasat University engineering professor Dr Banyong Rungruengduayboon, effectively turn the users’ original wheelchairs into tricycles that can reach speeds of up to 20 kilometers per hour and run for up to three hours on a single charge.

When not needed, the 30,000-baht devices can be easily detached and folded up for easy transport by car.

Also funding the project were the Rotary Foundation (US$19,600) and Rotary District 6060 (US$8,000) in Eastern Missouri, USA.

Dr Sanguan said candidates to receive the devices are those who do not have the ability to walk but retain upper body strength.

“There are about 250 disabled people who are needlessly immobilized in Phuket,” he said.

“Recipients will not need the devices when they are at home, but they will greatly increase their ability to travel outside,” Dr Sanguan added.

Among those attending the handover ceremony were representatives of the eight Rotary Club District 3300 chapters, as well as members of the Phuket Red Cross.

A special guest was 14-year-old Nitcharee Pen-eakchanasak, who lost both her legs in an accident in the Singapore mass transit system in April last year.

Miss Nitcharee, whose bravery has been an inspiration to people around the country, has since been fitted with prosthetic legs thanks to financial assistance from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

At the ceremony, Miss Nitcharee continued to put on a brave face despite suffering from an unrelated bout of food poisoning.

Among the recipients at the event was 19-year-old Arisa Ratso, a second-year student at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University.

Arisa’s mother, Sutida, said that Arisa is the only Thai with the rare genetic disease Friedreich’s ataxia, a degeneration of nerve tissue in the spinal cord that results in impaired muscle movement of the arms and legs and other serious symptoms.

Despite her young age, Arisa has been in treatment for the condition at Siriraj Hospital for over a decade.

“It’s great for her to have the added convenience and mobility. She is now learning how to use the electric puller with her wheelchair,” she said.

Another recipient, 55-year-old Ong-ard Tanjia, suffered an accident in 1991 that affected movement on the left side of his body.

“I’m quite happy to have the electronic puller, as before I only had a normal wheelchair,” he said.

However, he still has sufficient strength and motor control to move around his house without a wheelchair, he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Politics12 hours ago

Vladimir Putin officially annexed four parts of Ukraine

Transport15 hours ago

Phuket Airport officials pulled tourist from van, insisted they use airport taxi

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand’s strange laws – 10 strange laws in Thailand

Sponsored2 days ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Politics16 hours ago

The long goodbye – Which way now for PM Prayut?

Pattaya17 hours ago

Pattaya Police Chief cleared of vice slurs, back on duty

Tourism17 hours ago

Reopening Thailand has a busy activity schedule

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism17 hours ago

Today is the day! Full post-pandemic Thailand reopening

Pollution19 hours ago

Garbage in canals is worsening flooding in Bangkok

Weather19 hours ago

Hurricane Ian lashes South Carolina

Tourism20 hours ago

5-star squatters evicted from Layan Beach

Video21 hours ago

All you need to know about Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival

Protests21 hours ago

Anti-Prayut rallies expected across Bangkok

What you get for $X2 days ago

What $100,000 buys you for a condo in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Hua Hin

Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | Activists plan protests all across Thailand

Thailand2 days ago

Snitching on parking space hoggers could earn you 5,000 baht in Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11