On December 12th 2013 at the meeting hall of Phuket Rajabhat University, Phuket Governor – Maitri Inthusut presided over the opening of the Disability Day Fair 2013. Also present at the opening were PPAO Chief Executive – Paiboon Upattising, PPAO Chief Administrator – Watcharin Pathomwattanapong, PPAO Council Chairman – Pradit Sangchan, PPAO Council members, departmental heads and officers, Pimporn Khorsantiwichai from Phuket Office of Social Development and Human Security, Phuket City Mayor – Somcai Suwanasupana, and distinguished guests.
The celebration follows the United Nations International Day of People with Disability, set for December 3 of every year, since 1992, with the aim of promoting understanding towards people with disabilities so they are accepted within society both socially and economically. It also campaigns for the rights and potential of disabled people and creates a space where they can meet and celebrate.
Under the core concept of “getting rid of challenges and being part of society,” the celebration comprises of: giving vocational grants to disabled people; prize giving, receiving donations from the public on behalf of disabled people, free services relating to legal, vocation and education; accepting job applications; free haircuts; stage entertainment; and gift giving to disabled people. Throughout the fair, food and beverages were provided free of charge to people with disabilities and their families.
In his speech, Mr. Paiboon Upattising said: “PPAO always strives to improve the conditions of children, women, old people, and people with disabilities by developing their standard of living. Because we realize that these people are part of our society and are no less important than the rest of us, we at PPAO are proactive in organizing projects such as “Phuket Care,” which aims to equip all Phuket hospitals with 10,000 beds, with a set budget of 5,000,000 baht. This is so that disabled people and people suffering from chronic diseases are being looked after on a long-term basis. Other activities relating to medical care are: a workshop entitled “Raising Standard of Medical Services”; supplying medical equipment to hospitals under the project supported by Princess Sirindhorn; donation of equipment to disabled people and people with chronic illnesses; organizing mobile medical teams to visit patients who live in outlying areas; and printing and distribution of medical information leaflets to the public.
“Altogether, 920 patients have been looked after under this project. Moreover, PPAO also earmarks a budget for disabled people and socially disadvantaged people for various projects including:
• Support for Phuket Health Office – 4,222,000 baht,
• Support for people with chronic illnesses and disabled people in Phuket, workshop for health volunteers, Phuket Thai Autistic Foundation – 226,000 baht
• Support for Phuket Sunshine Children’s Village – 300,000 baht
• Support for Child Watch Agency – 777,200 baht
• Support for Phuket public health campaign and promotion – 1,716,390 baht
• Support for Disability Day Fair – 70,000 baht
This makes total funding of 12,311,590 baht.”
Mr. Paiboon continued: “PPAO, as main supporter of people with disabilities in the Phuket area, has an MOU agreement with the Thailand Association of People with Disability. Moreover, we were selected as ‘Organization with Best Disability Practice Standard for the year 2013’ from the National Office of Development of People with Disability, of which we are proud. For this celebration, we were given support by many sectors, which took part in organizing activities thereby promoting greater understanding between disabled people and the rest of the public.”