Power of Love
The Chiangmai Mail joins the
entire Kingdom in humbly extending our best wishes of loyalty and devotion
to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on the auspicious occasion of Her 84th
Birthday, August 12, 2016.
For over six decades of His Majesty the
King’s reign over the Kingdom of Thailand, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit has
resolutely followed his guiding principle and course of action with regard
to the numerous activities pertaining to the welfare of their subjects. With
a strong determination to alleviate the hardship and suffering of the rural
people, the royal couple has devoted time and energy to finding effective
solutions for a better living, with sufficient income, in order for them to
enjoy a peaceful and happy existence.
It is with this special royal Power of
Love that has enabled them to carry out their responsibilities with
unwavering dedication and caring concern, without exception or
discrimination, for all their subjects. The Royal Secretariat to Her Majesty
the Queen and the SUPPORT Foundation continue to actively carry out the
royal guidelines and procedures to extend assistance and support to the
Through this supplement, the Royal
Secretariat to Her Majesty the Queen and the SUPPORT Foundation, along with
the The Chiangmai Mail , hope that readers will now understand and
appreciate the hard work and unceasing activities, which have been initiated
and continue to be meticulously carried out until the present, are all due
to the immense Power of Love and infinite sympathetic support that Her
Majesty has for all her people.
Patients under Royal
Ifirmly believe that healthcare is a
very important issue because it is the essential foundation of life,
according to the age-old saying that ‘an active mind requires a healthy
body.’ If our people enjoy good health and are not suffering from any
chronic illnesses, they will have the ability to study and enjoy higher
education. Later, they can hold an occupation or a profession which will
assist in developing and promoting the advancement of the nation.” - Her
Majesty the Queen’s Speech to the Thai people, on the occasion of her
Birthday Anniversary August 11, 1988 at Dusidalai Hall, Dusit Palace,
For over 40 years, it was the annual
practice of Their Majesties to spend a certain period of time at each of
their regional palaces. They’d make daily visits to surrounding villages and
travel to remote areas to promote the welfare of their subjects, who are
filled with deep gratitude for their caring concern and continuous support.
During those early visits, it has come
to their attention that their people are suffering from various ailments
without proper care, due to lack of doctors and nursing facilities. It is
most unfortunate that this very important aspect in the development process
of the country has been overlooked. Human resources are essential for the
advancement of a nation, which cannot progress effectively if its people are
weak and unhealthy. Therefore, at each location, doctors who always
accompany the royal entourage will extend immediate medical assistance to
the villagers. The seriously ill are sent to the nearest hospital or onto
Bangkok according to the severity of the illness. These people are known as
Patients Under Royal Care.
Later on, Her Majesty the Queen took
over the duties with regard to social welfare and medical support in order
to reduce some of the numerous responsibilities of H.M. the King. On each
visit to underprivileged villages and remote areas, they observe that a huge
number of people are obviously very ill. But for some, the symptoms have not
yet shown up and these are sometimes overlooked for medical assistance.
However, Her Majesty has a talent for
being able to pick out sick people in a crowd by just looking into their
eyes. She stops to chat and puts them at ease by casually inquiring about
their family and general wellbeing. Then she will instruct a doctor to give
basic medication or whatever else that is needed to take care of these
In the meantime, H.M. the King would
remain occupied with inspection trips to search for suitable water sources
and establishment of appropriate irrigation systems for agricultural
For her long sessions with villagers,
H.M. the Queen will settle herself at a designated area such as in the
temple grounds, a space in front of a house or even a shady patch in a
rubber plantation. The natural elements of heat, high humidity or drizzling
rain do not deter her from her earnest wish to give assistance to her
subjects. She sits on the ground, informally chatting with the gathered
villagers. Sometimes, she will even spread out a piece of plastic cloth near
her for them to sit on.
Meantime, doctors start basic
examinations, with medicines prepared and distributed accordingly. Members
of the royal entourage help to record information on each patient and jot
down comments for further medical care.
Her Majesty is most concerned with the
health of children, especially when it was discovered that they had never
received the necessary vaccinations to prevent tuberculosis, whooping cough,
tetanus, diphtheria or polio, as it was not yet possible for the local
public health services to reach these remote villages. Therefore, her
doctors always travel equipped with these required vaccinations.
Members of the royal entourage
distribute milk, prepared in baby bottles, to under-nourished infants.
Iodized salt is also distributed, especially to the people in the north and
northeast (Issan), where goiter is widespread due to lack of iodine.
Although seriously ill, some people are
frightened of modern medication and filled with fear at the thought of
surgery. Her Majesty always takes time to explain patiently the necessity of
such a medical procedure, which will finally persuade them to take the
appropriate treatment. Then it is the turn of the ladies-in-waiting to make
regular hospital visits and report back to her on the progress of each case.
Patients are given baskets of
nutritious drinks and some personal items to make a hospital stay more
comfortable. For the accompanying relatives, travel and pocket money are
arranged for them accordingly.
Her Majesty’s deep concern and sympathy
for the plight of her people is endless. To effectively extend medical
assistance, she has established the Patients Under Royal Care Division as
part of the Royal Secretariat to H.M. the Queen, with appropriate procedures
in the treatment of patients. Her accomplishment is in line with the
direction set by H.M. the King in providing close supervision and the most
efficient medical care.
Later on, more and more sick villagers
would travel from long distances to gather in front of the royal provincial
residence, eagerly awaiting the scheduled arrival of Their Majesties.
Therefore, it became the practice of the Royal Mobile Medical Unit to travel
in advance in order to extend prior treatment.
The Royal Mobile Medical Unit
originated in Chiang Mai at Ban Mae Tho, Tambol Bo Salee, Amphoe Hod in 1970
with Professor Dr. Danai Snidvongs na Ayudhaya as chief of the unit,
assisted by a group of ladies-in-waiting. The royal doctor, Dr. Pramote
Sophark is also another unit chief, but travels separately to carry out
duties in different areas. Later on, a team of specialists from several
hospitals, together with a group of rotating volunteers, always accompany
the unit on each visit.
On a daily basis, a huge crowd of sick
villagers gather in front of the provincial royal residence, anxiously
awaiting some medical assistance. Therefore, Her Majesty instructs the Royal
Mobile Medical Unit to set up a medical center right there, which is simply
known as the “Palace Front Medical Unit” such as at Phuphan Rajanives in
Sakon Nakhon and at Taksin Rajanives in Narathivas.
The unit starts treatment in the early
morning at the palace, and later in the afternoon accompanies Her Majesty on
her daily provincial visits. A group of ladies-in-waiting help in dispensing
medicines (later they are assisted by palace officials to prepare the
medicines). After examination by a doctor, if necessary, the patient is then
sent to a nearby hospital. The royal secretariat officials prepare the
necessary letter of admittance for hospitalization, confirming that this
particular patient is under royal care. However, if the hospital is far
away, then travel money is provided, and the patient is escorted by a
village official or border patrol police, and later accompanied home.
Some patients undergo surgery by
“Volunteer Doctors” who are stationed at nearby local hospitals during the
royal visit. The volunteer doctors program was initiated when Their
Majesties were on a visit, in 1973, to the Southern Settlement Development
Project at Amphoe Waeng in Narathivas Province. At that time, there were no
doctors or nursing facilities, and a trip to the hospital required travel
through remote and dangerous areas.
After consultation with the public
health minister, Professor Dr. Udom Posakrisana immediately organized a
rotating group of doctors to make regular inspection trips to the public
health center at King Amphoe Sukhirin, Narathivas. Later, the project
expanded to include a group of rotating volunteer specialist surgeons from
several hospitals, who contributed their expertise in extending the much
needed medical treatment at the Narathivas Hospital during the royal visit.
Thus began the “Volunteer Doctors” project headed by Siriraj Hospital
doctors and nurses, followed by the University of Surgeons, who took on the
additional responsibility of recruiting specialists from various medical
fields to carry on this valuable contribution, which continues until
present, during the royal provincial visits.
In the case of patients suffering from
an illness that cannot be treated locally due to lack of equipment or a
specialist such as patients with heart problems, brain damage or needing
constant close care, they will become the responsibility of the relevant
division at the royal secretariat to H.M. the Queen, which will make
arrangements to bring these patients to Bangkok to receive appropriate
treatment. Travel money is provided together with food or train tickets. If
they cannot travel alone, relatives can accompany with help from the border
patrol police or a village official, who will deliver them to the royal
secretariat at Chitralada Palace, Bangkok.
For over 40 years, the State Railway
has contributed towards this royal charitable assistance by organizing
complimentary train vouchers for these patients. On arrival in Bangkok, the
official concerned will open a file for personal data and detailed
information on the illness in order to make appropriate arrangements.
While awaiting treatment by a
specialist or during convalescence after surgery, these patients are
accommodated at a rest house at Sukantharam Road in the Dusit district in
Bangkok area. The house is divided into male and female sections and is
monitored on a 24-hour basis. Food, of three meals daily, is provided from
the royal kitchens at Chitralada Palace, with choices of halal Muslim food,
supplementary food, nutritious drinks for the elderly, special diet and milk
for infants. Personal items such as soap, toothbrush, towel and talcum
powder are also provided.
There is a van for hospital visits
escorted by officials, who will also accompany the patient during a doctor’s
examination and wait for the results.
At present, there are 200-300 patients
each month receiving care or being hospitalized in Bangkok. For patients who
are hospitalized far away from home, ladies-in-waiting and volunteers make
rotation visits to give them warmth and comforting support. A report is kept
on the progress of each patient, which is most helpful to the medical
division of the royal secretariat. When a patient is fully recovered,
arrangements are made for the return trip home, together with periodic
hospital visits, as necessary. If a patient dies, then a proper funeral is
arranged according to the particular religious rites.
Her Majesty’s medical assistance is not
limited only to those who are in attendance during her provincial visits.
Assistance is also extended to those people reported by the media, such as
newspapers or television, who are suffering from a serious illness, a rare
disease or accidentally hurt while doing a good deed as a helpful citizen.
Medical assistance is extended until recovery, no matter how high the
expenses. Assistance is also given to numerous impoverished villagers who
have written to request for help.
Patients under royal care are assured
that they will receive the best medical assistance, not only for them but it
is also extended to their needy families. Arrangements are made with village
officials and members of the local Red Cross to take care of parents or
infants. Cash contributions are also given to families until the patient is
recovered. In the case of a patient who cannot reach full recovery or has
become handicapped with lost limbs and cannot earn a living, Her Majesty
will take these under royal patronage or bring other family members to be
trained in handicrafts so they can have a profession and will be able to
help their family.
Her Majesty’s project of Patients Under
Royal Care is effective with the most satisfactory results. Impoverished and
sick people, without hope, are given a new lease on life and are able to
enjoy a normal family environment again. For those who are not entirely
cured, they can still lead a contented existence for many more years.
Handicapped people are encouraged and given a chance to create their own
profession. Some who think they are terminally ill have miraculously
recovered, or those who are ignorant and have such a great fear of any
medical care have been persuaded to undergo successful treatments. Her
Majesty’s unceasing compassionate concern and sympathetic understanding have
brought peace and hope to the people, without discrimination toward any to
either class, race or religion.
Students Under Royal Patronage
Our present day youth is our
country’s future. They will be instrumental in the effective development and
successful growth of the nation. As a mother, I wish to see all children
enjoying a happy childhood, and lovingly cared for from a young age. When
they grow up, they will be an asset to the community. They will be ready to
assist in developing and promoting the progress of the country and also of
the world as a whole.” - Her Majesty the Queen’s Speech, on the occasion
of the opening ceremony of a UNICEF event January 13, 1964 at Sala
Education is a significant basic
foundation and a most important factor for a successful life. It will
promote progress and bring security for the future, together with developing
a person to be informative and cautious in bringing knowledge and experience
to create a profession suitable for himself or herself and generate a happy
environment for family and fellow citizens.
An educated person is similar to an
individual who is equipped with a personal shield to safeguard against being
taken advantage of, as well as being easily mistaken or misguided. If a
nation is composed of well educated citizens, then it is certain that they
will be instrumental in bringing prosperity and stability to the land.
Her Majesty the Queen is fully aware of
this from accompanying H.M. the King on their visits to all corners of
Thailand. Besides finding people suffering from various ailments, she
discovers that the people in underprivileged and remote areas are destitute
and existing in a hand to mouth manner. On top of that, they are totally
illiterate, without the benefit of any form of education.
Due to their bleak and impoverished
circumstances, children do not have the chance of an education, and even a
few fortunate ones who attended school have to leave early to find jobs and
help support their family. By the time they grow up, they have already lost
the chance for education and are unable to make any effective progress for
With her far sighted vision and grave
concern for this situation, Her Majesty searched for ways and means which
will alleviate these problems and make all-round improvements.
If a family is so poor and has no land
to make a living or is burdened with family responsibilities of too many
children, Her Majesty will recommend a suitable occupation which will enable
them to earn sufficient money to support the family. If a child wishes to
attend school, she will grant a scholarship which will later allow them to
be financially independent and to be of help to their family. If a person is
creative, then he or she is encouraged to take art or handicraft courses at
the SUPPORT Foundation training center.
She is also most skillful at
encouraging and supporting these villagers to expand their knowledge and
experience which will enable them to enjoy a much better life. For those who
have never had the chance or are unable to attend school, she has
established several village reading pavilions or “Sala Ruam Jai,” equipped
with reading materials, from basic school texts, to picture books and
magazines, for villagers to gather in basic reading lessons and enjoy being
part of a community.
Because of Her Majesty’s awareness of
the value of education, she has contributed her personal funds to grant
scholarships. These numbers have increased so significantly that a new
division of “Students Under Royal Patronage” was created at the royal
secretariat to H.M. the Queen in order to supervise the progress of these
numerous students in all regions of the country.
Up to the present, there are tens of
thousands of students who have been granted scholarships, and each year
these graduates have either set up their own business or returned to their
village to promote the social welfare of their own community.
“I am so proud that all the Thai
people enjoy a touch of the creative talent, no matter if they are farmers
from remote corners of the land or just ordinary villagers with simple
occupations. The Thais are equipped with a delicate artistic sense. Given
the right opportunity, they can quickly absorb knowledge and will diligently
train to present the most exceptional creations.” - Her Majesty the
Queen’s Speech, on the occasion of her Birthday Anniversary August 11, 1989
at Dusidalai Hall, Dusit Palace, Bangkok.
Her Majesty the Queen established the
arts and handicrafts center on July 21, 1976. It was auspiciously named
“Silapacheep” by His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch, Somdej Phra Sangharaj
Sakol Maha Sangha Parinayok.
The English version was appropriately
translated by Mom Rajawongse Thongnoi Thongyai, Deputy Principal Secretary
to H.M. the King as “The Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary
Occupations and Related Techniques, Under Royal Patronage of Her Majesty the
Queen.” It became known as “The SUPPORT Foundation” and Her Majesty also
took on the position of Chairperson of the Executive Board of Directors.
Her Majesty the Queen has personally
managed the operation of this foundation. Therefore, it was considered most
appropriate to change the foundation name to The SUPPORT Foundation of Her
Majesty Queen Sirikit, Phra Baromma Rajini Nath. Changes were also made to
the existing Bylaws as the original group of executive directors have passed
away or are unable to continue their board duties.
Headquarters at Chitralada Palace
The training center, located at
Chitralada Palace in Bangkok, is considered to be the heart of the
foundation, as originally planned by Her Majesty who wished to create such a
center right in the palace grounds. At first it was not a permanent
structure, but rather an informal area where tents were erected beside the
Then, it was simply known as the art
and handicraft training shed.
Later, there was such a rapid increase of underprivileged villagers from all
over the country who were being trained at the center that a two-storey
building was constructed in 1980 to house trainees, officials and handicraft
products. However, space became quickly overcrowded with the increasing
number of new trainees that a higher floor was added to the present building
In August 1990, H.R.H. Princess Maha
Chakri Sirindhorn contributed her own funds, which were personal gifts from
the people that she had accumulated over the years, to construct a 3-storey
building opposite the royal secretariat location. She personally oversaw the
construction details and presented the building as a birthday anniversary
gift to Her Majesty the Queen, which was officially opened by her on August
The aim of the foundation training
center is not only to train these people in various skills, but also to
preserve the national heritage and promote traditional arts and handicrafts.
It is also the coordination center for officials and foundation members who
are located in different parts of the country. It acts as the central
purchasing center with suitable storage space, and the distribution center
for all foundation products. Most importantly, it is also the headquarters
for the SUPPORT Foundation of H.M. the Queen.
Following the establishment of The
SUPPORT Foundation in 1976, there was an increasing number of projects
generating supplementary income for the villagers. In the central region, a
cotton weaving project was launched at Amphoe Pa Mok, Ang Thong Province on
August 27, 1976; at Amphoe Bang Pahan, Ayuthaya Province on November 5,
1976; and at Amphoe Bang Ban, Ayuthaya Province on January 19, 1977. From
then on, several training centers and training projects were established in
all regions of the country.
It was Her Majesty’s aim to create arts
and handicrafts from local raw materials, to promote weaving and other
skills in traditional designs according to the traditions of that region.
This action will preserve the ancient legacy handed down through
generations, and inspire and encourage the local people to create a more
modern motif that can be harmoniously combined with traditional designs.
Therefore, each regional product has its own well known identity that is
exclusive to that particular location.
Traditional Arts and
Handicrafts to National Treasures
There is a continuous flow of creative
art and handicraft items being produced at The SUPPORT Training Center at
Chitralada Palace, handed down through the creativity and talent of the
masters to the younger generation from provinces or handicapped persons, who
are fully supported by the ever caring concern of Her Majesty the Queen. She
is also their most supportive instructor in giving compliments and
constructive advice, together with presenting prizes, showing moral support
and extending necessary assistance and funds. The resulting successful
production, accumulated over the years, has appeared in seven exhibitions.
These masterpieces are the delight and pride of the nation.
Handicraft to Forestry
and Agricultural Projects
When a member of the foundation is able
to stand on his own feet, Her Majesty will start to search for new trainees
and needy people to extend her support. At present, the foundation has
expanded its activities to include assistance and support in the
agricultural field, livestock, forest preservation for water sources,
revival of local skills and expertise through numerous projects.
The royal entourage to Her Majesty the
Queen is ever ready to lend assistance in these widespread royal projects of
various nature varied schemes, from problems of nutrition, occupation,
social welfare to environmental issues of the nation.
Projects Under Royal Patronage
It is now well over half a century that
Their Majesties have made regular visits to their people in all corners of
Thailand. From the beginning, it was apparent that, in the provinces and
especially the more remote areas, their people were faced with persistent
problems which contributed to many types of suffering. Some of their people
lived near destitution and even in total misery. With unwavering
determination, they embarked on their quest to improve the lives of their
people in the most appropriate ways. Their Majesties were well aware that
many of these problems and deprivations could be reduced and even
eliminated. However, without apt solutions, some of these difficulties could
increase significantly to the changing social clime, environment and economy
of the nation.
While the majority of H.M. the King’s
attention was occupied with core projects to improve agriculture, H.M. the
Queen was busy with the development of handicrafts and promoting the welfare
of provincial women, children and the elderly. Once these projects operated
smoothly, her interests diversified to environmental and some agricultural
programs to assist the responsibility of numerous schemes initiated by His
Majesty. She considered that agriculture could also be seen as handicraft,
because farmers needed to have imagination and creativity to produce the
crops and their living. Her early environmental projects were the successful
Royal-initiated Forest love Water Project (Paa Rak Nam), and Royal-initiated
Little House in the Big Forest Project (Ban Lek Nai Paa Yai), which were
soon followed by several other thriving projects.
Royal-initiated Forest Loves Water
(Paa Rak Nam) and The Royal-initiated Little House in the Big Forest (Ban
Lek Nai Paa Yai)
Her Majesty firmly believed that the
most practical way of life is for man to live with the forest, and to
protect while also benefiting from the available natural resources. The
Royal-initiated Forest Loves Water Project (Paa Rak Nam) in Sakon Nakhon
Province, villagers were educated, in simple terms, to thoroughly understand
the importance and value of the forest in their lives.
They were taught that the forests were
the source of their precious water resources and so they must immediately
cease to destroy the forest whether for agriculture or to take the wood.
They also learned that if they were to continue to enjoy abundant natural
water, they must help to preserve and expand their forested areas.
At the same time, Her Majesty commenced
a project known as Doi Kham the Royal-initiated Little House in the Big
Forest Project (Ban Lek Nai Paa Yai) on the hills of Chiang Mai Province.
The concept was to create a community
where villagers could support themselves by gathering food from the forest.
As this was in a border area, they also helped with forest fire protection,
safeguarding from illegal loggers, and were on the alert for illicit drug
They were discouraged from clearing the
forest for their traditional practice of shifting cultivation, which not
only destroyed large areas of the forests but also left them unproductive
for many years. Instead, they were taught to farm in the more permanent and
productive terraced agriculture on the steep hillsides.
There are now several of the
Royal-initiated Little House in the Big Forest Projects (Ban Lek Nai Paa
Yai) throughout the Kingdom. After establishing each project, Her Majesty
would extend appropriate assistance and advice to help improve living
conditions, no matter how remote.
For example, the venture at Sibrae, a
remote corner far from other villages towards Amphoe Omkoi in Chiang Mai
Province, was only reachable by a 4-hour car trip. Another example of Her
Majesty’s work was the Forest Preservation Project at Ban Huay Ja Khan,
Tambol Ping Khong, Amphoe Chiang Dao in Chiang Mai, where Her Majesty had
arranged for the hilltribes, who had migrated from the Muser Lang Muang,
Amphoe Omkoi in Chiang Mai to re-settle. As of 2004, there were now 60
families enjoying a peaceful and productive life at this site.
Agricultural Development Station
The Royal-initiated Highland
Agricultural Development Station was initiated when villagers in the Mae
Chaem watershed in Chiang Mai Province were suffering from a long drought.
They petitioned Her Majesty for royal assistance. After consultation with
H.M. the King, an irrigation project was initiated to alleviate these
problems. Meantime, Her Majesty also set up the Royal-initiated Highland
Agricultural Development Station, where experts assisted the villagers in
new farming techniques which were more productive and most suitable to this
particular area without having to resort to high technology or expensive
The project became a model center for
neighboring villages to carry out the same successful innovative practice,
which also included raising different types of crops and cultivating
We created Model Farms in order to
educate and train the villagers to increase their food stock so that they
will not be faced with problems during the lean months. Secondly, it is our
wish that everyone should have an occupation which will enable them to earn
a living. Therefore, we extend assistance by giving them jobs at the model
“At the same time, they begin to learn
the proper way of raising chickens, ducks and other livestock.
When they are ready to start their
own farms, they can put these innovative methods to good use…” - Her
Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Anniversary Speech Monday, August 11, 2003 at
Dusidalai Pavilion, Chitralada Palace.
The concept of the Royal-initiated
Model Farm Project was not only to end forest destruction caused by shifting
cultivation and opium growing production, but was also another way of
extending assistance and, at the same time, educating the villagers to new
agricultural methods, together with teaching them the importance of
producing and storing sufficient food. The principal aim of the
Royal-initiated Model Farm Project was as follows:
1. To produce quality products.
2. To educate and carry out on-the-job training in new technologies.
3. To offer employment and teach villagers new farming methods.
Later, Her Majesty commanded that the model farm should consider employment
as its first priority as it was evident that the villagers and their
families benefited from a regular income for food, clothes, school fees,
transportation and doctors. Another advantage was that a model farm also
served as a site for educational field trips for students and as a tourist
First Model Farm
We were able to establish the first
Model Farm from contributions received by The SUPPORT Foundation, which were
generously donated by people throughout the country. We purchased a plot of
land on a hill in Chiang Mai where there were so many destitute hilltribes.
As there was such a scarcity of food, they existed by smoking opium. During
our visit, they made an appeal to their “mae” or mother, for any kind of
jobs for their village. In return, they were willing to destroy all the
poppy fields and would start to work hard and honestly.” - Her Majesty
the Queen’s Birthday Anniversary Speech, Saturday, August 11, 2001 at
Dusidalai Pavilion, Chitralada Palace.
The first model farm was initiated in
the northern region. When Her Majesty made a visit to Ban Khun Pae, a group
of former drug addicts petitioned her for assistance as they had no way to
earn a living. She commanded Sahas Boonyaviwat, Deputy Secretary-General for
Special Affairs attached to the Royal Household, to search for a suitable
location, which was found at Ban Khun Tae, Amphoe Jomthong, Chiang Mai
Province. As it was such a remote corner, the villagers were still awaiting
help for the piece of land that they had already cleared for cultivation.
Her Majesty immediately put her new
plan into practice by starting a Model Farm. In fact, it was the same group
of villagers who had appealed for help earlier. They were indeed fortunate
that their request was so promptly realized.
Ban Mae Taam, Amphoe Soem Ngam in
Lampang Province already has a flourishing handicraft center for
supplementary income, but no agricultural project, so Her Majesty organized
another model farm at this location, followed by another at Ban Mae Tung
Ting, Amphoe Samoeng in Chiang Mai.
After these first model farms met with
success, model farms were established in disadvantaged areas throughout the
For areas experiencing problems but
unable to receive assistance from The SUPPORT Foundation, Her Majesty would
contribute funds to start up a small village livestock farm, which was
closely supervised by local officials. Another budget would also be
allocated for maintenance, necessary construction and replenishment of
livestock such as pigs, cows and ducks. For the southern region, which was
more suitable for fishing and fish farming, the villagers were encouraged to
cultivate Krasang fish or Garoupa at Ban Laweng.
to Protect Life Flag
In November 1995, Her Majesty was in
residence at Phuphan Rajanives Palace in Sakon Nakhon Province. The then
Colonel Pichet Visaijorn informed her that 12 families living in the area of
Paa Dong Yai forest were suffering because the land they had previously
farmed had become very infertile and unproductive. Through joint
cooperation, they decided to stop farming and instead start restoring the
forest until the area would be once more lush and green.
Her Majesty felt that such a good deed
should be rewarded and honored to become an incentive for other villagers to
follow this fine example.
Therefore, a royal Forest Preservation
to Protect Life Flag was created and presented to the villagers of Paa Dong
Yai, Amphoe Hua Taphan in Amnat Charoen Province, which was soon followed by
the villagers of Dong Na Tham in Ubon Ratchathani Province who also worked
as a community to protect their forests.
The Forest Preservation to Protect Life
flag of honor is blue, 80cm wide and 114cm long, decorated with a crown in
the center and H.M. the Queen’s royal initials SK in an oval space. The
center is also decorated with two trees flanked by 1, 2 or 3 elephants in
accordance with the grade of the flag. The edge is embroidered with dark
Blue is Her Majesty’s personal color,
green indicates a cool and pleasant area, trees for the forest and elephants
mean a prosperous land.
The Forest Preservation to Protect Life
flag is used for activities concerning the preservation of forest, wildlife
and the environment and is proudly flown by the villagers. However, if it is
discovered that the villagers have not kept up their vigilance, then the
flag will be removed.
- Ror Sor Por Tor
The Forest Preservation Volunteers are
villagers who actually live in the area where the forest is being protected.
Although capable and alert in their protection tasks, their efforts have not
reached the required standard to achieve a Forest to Preserve Life Flag.
Therefore, in order to show appreciation for their vigilance, Her Majesty
has set up a Forest Preservation Volunteers Unit, known by the initials Ror
Sor Por Tor, with regular training by forestry officials and military
personnel to promote the proper way of life to achieve “harmony between man
It was Her Majesty’s farsighted vision,
and her firm belief, that if people were fed and led a reasonably happy
life, they would not seek to destroy forests in order to make a living, and
would not even consider other dishonest means to earn money. Therefore, she
established the Food Bank with the purpose of ensuring that villagers would
have sufficient food stored to last during the lean months.
At first, the idea was put into
practice to support farmers who were unable to produce anything because of a
long drought or a flood disaster. Food and grains were distributed to help
the villagers survive during such hard times.
When the fields were productive again,
villagers reimbursed the food banks with some of their produce. For food
banks located outside agricultural areas, villagers were able to make their
reimbursements with some other available produce.
The Food Bank concept came out of true
royal support or royal sponsorship. A granary would be constructed as a food
bank to stock rice and grains, which was supervised by the village
committee, selected by the villagers themselves. Regular reports would be
made to local officials and sometimes regional military units. At present,
there are over 200 Food Banks located all over Thailand.
Resources Rehabilitation Project
It was Her Majesty’s custom to make
regular visits to Ban Laweng in Pattani, where she would hold work sessions
at the pavilion with local villagers, and those from nearby Ban Rang Mod
Dang, Amphoe Mai Kaen.
At one time, villagers petitioned for
royal assistance as fishing was becoming very scarce. Her Majesty discussed
this issue with the fisheries officials and mentioned that the villagers
were hoping to have some sort of refuge for the fish to lay eggs in, which
could also act as a safe shelter away from fishing nets. At that particular
time, the railway department was about to offer old rail carriages for sale.
This was an ideal solution and the train carriages were transformed into
fish houses, and would also act as a stimulus to develop new coral reefs.
H.M. the King advised the officials
concerned to carefully study the terrain as the act of sinking large train
carriages into the sea could cause water flow problems and might even be
ecologically harmful. After careful consideration, during the first year, a
fleet of 200-300 train carriages were sunk around Sai Buri, which was about
10-12 km from shore at a depth of 25 to 25 meters. The next drop was only 3
km from shore. Within one year, schools of huge fish such as Potato Cods or
Pla Moh Talay, whose size were larger than the train windows, could be seen
happily swimming around the new “homes”, which were already heavily covered
with oyster shells and coral.
Promotion of Caladium
The colored caladium plants are quite
rare and much sought after by avid gardeners. However, they are rather
difficult to cultivate due to their delicate nature. The green leaves are
beautifully streaked with a reddish-pink glow or they can turn bronze-red
all over, an appearance much admired by experts.
Her Majesty was concerned that this
beautiful plant could soon become extinct, and initiated a project to
research the best cultivation, and at the same time to further improve its
beauty. When Her Majesty was in residence at Taksin Rajanives Palace, where
she regularly held handicraft competitions on Yan Lipao, Krajude, Rua Gorae
and other items, she suddenly realized that the southern climate was most
suitable to raise these colored caladium plants. If encouraged and nurtured
properly, it could become another successful project to provide
supplementary income for the southern people. The project was established in
1998 and annual competitions, entered into by villages from the three
southern-most provinces, were held for the flourishing colored caladium
The many projects established by Her
Majesty the Queen, all progress in line with the concept of development and
advancement for a better living.
First, the existing problems are
solved, especially with regard to lack of food. Then, after careful
consideration, a suitable solution is found together with an appropriate
occupation initiated for these many different areas.
With her far-sighted vision and supreme
benevolence, Her Majesty continues with her lifelong mission in improving
the quality of life and welfare of her people.
As for this prestigious award, I
myself as another Thai citizen, received it with pride on behalf of all our
people. It will be an honor to take this award back to our country. It
clearly shows that the Thais are now well known and admired by overseas
people.” - Her Majesty the Queen’s Speech on the occasion of an informal
audience with the Thai Community during her Official Visit to receive an
award at the Grand Ballroom, Plaza Hotel, New York City, U.S.A. November 5,
From the glorious celebration of her
Royal Wedding day over half a century ago, Her Majesty the Queen has
dedicated her time, strength and energy following in the direction, clearly
set by H.M. the King, with regard to the advancement of the nation and the
development of welfare for their people. With her indomitable spirit and
determination to alleviate the hardships experienced by those in
underprivileged and remote areas, she was also resolute in her wish to bring
the country and its potential to the attention of the global arena, as
Thailand was a relatively unknown entity fifty years ago.
Through decades of dedication and hard
work, Her Majesty has been instrumental in bringing the country into the
global limelight and gaining worldwide recognition. Among other attributes,
Thailand is now famed for its charming traditions and creative talents. It
is no wonder that, through the years, both international and local
organizations, and institutions, have honored her with exceptional awards
and university degrees.
In 1960, Their Majesties embarked on a
lengthy journey to make a series of state visits overseas. The impact of
such an undertaking was truly memorable. Thailand, with its young monarch
and exquisite queen, was suddenly identified as a most attractive prospect
for trade and travel. The royal couple was most warmly welcomed by royalties
and heads of state throughout the western world. Over the years, these
illustrious leaders made reciprocal visits to Thailand, which have resulted
in much closer relationships between the countries. In fact, Their Majesties
have effectively opened the doors to Thailand. Later, they also made state
visits to neighboring countries, both in Asia and the Pacific.
When Their Majesties finally returned
to Thailand after these long and strenuous trips, H.M. the Queen continued
with her various handicraft projects and numerous other occupations such as
promoting educational and social welfare schemes, supporting women’s rights
issues, establishing plans for environmental preservation and restoration of
forest and wildlife, commencing campaigns for charitable organizations and
acting as head of the Red Cross Society. With ever increasing
responsibilities over these numerous projects, it was not possible for Her
Majesty to make many visits overseas.
However, when the SUPPORT Foundation
was firmly established and its members at the training center at Chitralada
Palace in Bangkok were producing exceptional traditional handicraft items,
some of which were truly exquisite masterpieces, it was time to promote
these treasures overseas. With great pride, Her Majesty wished to let the
world see how simple farmers could create the most beautiful and delicate
works of art. When her intentions were known, invitations were extended from
the United States, Japan and France for Her Majesty to organize exclusive
exhibitions. At major cities such as Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, the
American people were able to enjoy these wonderful exhibits, with a special
introduction and narration by Her Majesty.
In Japan, Her Majesty escorted Emperor
Akihito and personally introduced these treasures at a grand exhibition. He
was most impressed and interested in these magnificent handicrafts. The
Japanese viewers, well known for their selective and discerning taste,
wished to immediately purchase several pieces, but unfortunately, these
exhibits were on show only. However, Japanese designers were so impressed
with the Mudmee Thai silk that they used this lovely fabric to create
elegant kimonos, which were included in a special fashion show.
In France, a unique exhibition was held
at the Eiffel Tower which was accompanied by leading artists from The
SUPPORT Foundation. Madame Chirac, wife of the President of France, was
delighted with these remarkable items and commented on the surprising
creative talent of simple Thai farmers.
Rich with an ancient culture, charming
traditions and inspirational handicrafts, it has always been Her Majesty’s
steadfast objective to present the opulent heritage of Thailand to the
world. Now, her wish has been fully realized. As Asther Coopersmith of the
Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C., who has had the opportunity to be in
attendance to Her Majesty on several occasions, comments:
“For Her Majesty, the culture,
tradition, and the ever increasing potentials of Thailand are her first
priorities. She has an infinite pride and loving concern for her people and
takes every opportunity to show the impressive culture and traditions,
together with the rich treasures of Thailand. These are definitely the most
sophisticated mode and effective approach to promote friendship and
understanding between Thailand and the rest of the world.”
Through the decades, Her Majesty
continued with her hard work and single-minded devotion in responding to the
directives and required actions, as set by H.M. the King, in the total
commitment to their country. It was their royal duty and responsibility to
extend assistance to their deprived subjects. They were both earnest in
their various undertakings in order to enhance and improve the welfare of
International organizations have shown
their recognition and warm appreciation for her long and arduous endeavors
by presenting Her Majesty with high honors and exceptional awards for her
Majesty’s most recent
Her Majesty the Queen has been a
constant companion by H.M. the King’s side throughout the year. Whenever
H.M. the King has been able to visit his loyal subjects, H.M. the Queen
always accompanied him.
In 2012, to mark the 80th birthday
anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the Government Public Relations
Department (PRD) published the book, “By the Grace of Her Majesty Queen
Sirikit” as a tribute to Her Majesty. The book features life and work of Her
Majesty, who is recognized as Mother of the Land. Since her first appearance
by the side of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1950, Her Majesty
Queen Sirikit has been the benefactress of the land, the joy and inspiration
of the Thai nation. With her great compassion and keen aesthetic sense, Her
Majesty the Queen initiated various projects to improve rural life,
livelihood, and the environment in all localities visited by her.
In Sept. 2012, the Government launched
a project to plant 800 million saplings by 2016, as part of the celebrations
of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 80th birthday anniversary that year. Minister
of Natural Resources and Environment, Preecha Rengsomboonsuk, said that,
throughout the five-year period, people from all walks of life are being
urged to join the project as volunteers to help replant forests. In 2012,
the first year of the project, 20 million saplings were planted. In 2013,
180 million saplings were planted, and each year from 2014 to 2016, 200
million saplings are being planted. The project is meant to show gratitude
to Her Majesty the Queen, who is well known for her efforts in natural
resource and environmental conservation.
The Government is proceeding with the
project known as Water Conservation for the Mother of the Land, in response
to Her Majesty the Queen’s wishes for natural resource and environmental
conservation. The master plan for the second phase of the project won
Cabinet approval on 2 October 2012 following a proposal by the Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives. The second phase, from 2013-2016, came after
the first phase, carried out from 2008 to 2011, was completed. The Cabinet
was told that, although the first phase was successful to a certain extent,
many rural remote villages and communities still faced water shortages
during the dry season. As a consequence, local farmers were unable to
produce sufficient rice for consumption. The project has also faced some
constraints, since a number of villagers in target areas have low education
and are not able to read Thai. For this reason, the Ministry of Agriculture
and Cooperatives deemed it necessary to continue the project in the second
phase to cope with the constraints and to achieve the set target for
In the second phase, human development
will be carried out for people living in river basins to achieve balanced
development and conservation, in accordance with His Majesty the King’s
initiatives. Local communities will be empowered through learning promotion
and occupational development. The second phase of the project also focuses
on natural resource and environmental management in a holistic manner. Food
security will be given a major boost, and local people will be provided with
greater access to government services and more opportunities to make use of
On May 7, 2013, The Cabinet endorsed
the proposal by the Ministry of Education to present Her Majesty Queen
Sirikit with the title of “Mother and Teacher of the Land.” The presentation
was meant to honor Her Majesty the Queen in commemoration of her 80th
birthday anniversary, 12 August 2012. The Cabinet has appointed a committee,
chaired by the Permanent Secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office, to
screen relevant documents to seek royal permission for the presentation.
Her Majesty is aware of the need to
eliminate illiteracy and reduce social disadvantages. She believes that
education is necessary for human, social, and national development. Her
Majesty has contributed to Thailand’s education in many ways. For instance,
she has granted scholarships for needy students and disadvantaged youths.
The management and staff of the Pattaya
Mail Media Group join the Thai people and the many others from around the
world, to present our loyalty and devotion to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and
best wishes for a most Happy Birthday and a long life on the occasion of her
84th birthday, 12 August 2016.
(The Committee for Documentary
Compilation and Archives
Photographic Credit: The Royal Private Department of Photography, Office of
the Royal Household; Royal Private Film Her Majesty the Queen’s Personnel