Out of hope, woman pushes disabled daughter across country in cart

A 60-year-old homeless woman who was found walking for three days on a highway to Bangkok with her Down syndrome daughter received help yesterday after attention was called to her plight.

Pornpimol Reu-opat was pushing a cart carrying her 22-year-old daughter along the highway between Udon Thani and Khon Kaen provinces when reporters spotted her and brought the attention to her story.

Pornpimol said she and her daughter were kicked out of their home, which belongs to her dead husband’s family, so with no other hope she set out on a 527-kilometer walk to the capital, where she hoped to find help from long-lost relatives.

The mother and daughter arrived Bangkok today aboard a free train after reporters contacted the nearest train station. Pornpimol said she had previously tried to board a free train before deciding to walk, but officers did not allow her to take her daughter’s cart on board.

The two are now in the care of Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, who will find them a proper shelter and help search for their relatives, Khaosod reported.

“The organization will make sure they receive basic welfare. The mother will receive her first monthly cash support from the government in November while her daughter will continue to receive the disabled fund support,” said Ramrung Subansaeni, president of One Stop Crisis Center. “The organization will also contact a hospital to help with her daughter’s condition.”

But is the government’s help enough?

A senior citizen aged 60 to 69 receives THB600 monthly welfare support in disbursements which increase by THB100 every 10 years. Meanwhile, her daughter is receiving THB500 in assistance each month from the government to get by, according to Pornpimol.

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