HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN'S 76TH BIRTHDAY
Queen inspires a green Mother's Day
Many Thais across the country were inspired by Her Majesty the Queen's advice and turned their attention to environmental activities yesterday to celebrate her 76th birthday. The Queen stressed the importance of conserving forests and fresh water sources during her address at the Dusitdalai Pavilion given on the eve of her birthday.
Her words inspired people all over Thailand to go green during yesterday's public holiday. In Nakhon Ratchasima province, around 500 people helped plant 99 trees, an auspicious number, at the provincial sports stadium.
Chiang Rai residents used boats to clear water hyacinth from Chiang Rai Lake, the largest fresh water source in the province.
In the southern border province of Satun, 3,000 pine trees were planted close to the sea at Pak Barng Boy Scout Camp.
The Queen also expressed concern about the danger of untreated water being released into natural waterways by factories.
Ayutthaya governor Preecha Kamolbutra vowed to take swift action against any factories which pollute the province's rivers.
Yesterday was also Mother's Day, and the Queen's address influenced many children in their choice of gift.
Traditional jasmine garlands were out of favour, with sons and daughters preferring something longer lasting.
Flower sellers in Nakhon Ratchasima noted some of last year's customers walked past their stalls and headed for the plant shop instead.
''Flowers will soon wilt but trees last for many years and are able to remind mothers of their children,''said Somporn Pradabwongse, 52, owner of Ouan Flower Shop.
Mother's Day is an occasion to give thanks for the love and support provided by Thai mums, and Prachin Buri province takes this a step further with its Mother of the Year awards.
Joy Jitpinit, 78, is among 788 mothers to receive the honour this year.
Mrs Joy has raised her twin handicapped daughters since they became disabled 32 years ago.
Living in poverty, she feeds her 38-year-old daughters Kanya and Thida with leftover food from the temple where she works as a janitor.
The twins have both suffered from wasted limbs since they were six years old. Thida is confined to her bed, while Kanya cannot sit up straight.
''It is a tough job, but I am glad society recognises a mother's duty,'' said a tearful Mrs Joy when receiving her award.
Wednesday August 13, 2008