A Thai celeb and volunteer rescuer has raised enough money for northeast flood victims that he plans to give every affected household THB5,000 (US$164).
Bin Bunlueritr, who’s been collecting donations since this past weekend, announced this morning in Ubon Ratchathani that he’d collected over THB230 million (US$7.5 million) to distribute, starting with about 1,000 households today. Distribution will continue daily.
“We were originally going to give out THB1,000, but so many donations poured in. We’ve reached THB231 million today and donations are still coming in,” Bin said, adding that they would continue to accept more for residents, many of whom have been rendered penniless from the flood and need money to get started again.
To make sure households receiving money were actually affected, Bin said national IDs and home registrations would be checked.
Bin, best known for his role in the 2000 historical epic Bang Rajan, began collecting donations Saturday. He posted photos and videos from affected areas showing the trouble people were facing along with his personal bank account number for those who wanted to help.
“The pictures that you see are only a small part; the reality is much worse than this. Some people have been left homeless, some people have nothing to eat, some people don’t have a single baht left to them. There is nowhere for them to go to the bathroom. The shelters are extremely crowded; some residents have been evacuated but still don’t have anywhere to sleep. Some people suffer from athlete’s foot,” he wrote online.
Those interested in donating can transfer any amount to Kasikorn bank account No. 054-1 22654-0.
This morning, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, who’s taken flack for posing for light-hearted photo ops in the south while the crisis continues, donated THB100,000 (US$3,200) to flood rescue efforts this morning at the Government House prior to today’s cabinet meeting.
“The donated money must be carefully considered and taken care of … these funds will support people where government funds cannot,” Prayuth said, explaining that state funds are strictly regulated.
All those tanks, jets, APCs and submarines aren’t going to buy themselves, after all.