Beggar donates millions

Sixty-three year old Aiam Cambhiranon suffers from polio and speaks only in short, difficult-to-understand sentences. He could never hold a normal job, but as a beggar he excels.

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Aiam Cambhiranon at his regular spot in front of Wat Rai Khing in Sam Phran district. File photo.


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Beggar donates millions

Sixty-three year old Aiam Cambhiranon suffers from polio, has a stammer, and speaks only in short, difficult-to-understand sentences.

He could never hold a normal job, but as a beggar he excels.

Mr Aiam can be seen every day, from dawn to dusk, sitting in front of the main temple  of the popular Wat Rai Khing (วัดไร่ขิง) in Sam Phran district, about 56km from Bangkok. 

He earns 3,000-4,000 baht on weekdays and 20,000-40,000 baht on weekends, keeping very little of it for himself.

Instead, he has become famous for his large donations to Wat Rai Khing and other temples. 

In April, 2011, the then anonymous beggar caused a stir when news emerged that he gave 400,042 baht to the temple so it could buy lotus flowers for worshippers. He made bigger headlines the following year when he donated 9,999,999 baht for the same purpose. His one-million baht contribution this year is for buying the lotus flowers and rehabilitation work at the monastery.

The friendly and polite beggar never asks passers-by to donate. He just sits on the ground and next to him is a small stainless steel box with which he collects money. There are photographs showing him making donations, getting certificates from the temple and showing receipts for his contributions, and big plastic bags in which he keeps his money.

Porntep Patthawee, 42, an administrator at the temple, said Mr Aiam's disability and the humble way he carries himself draws sympathy from people who meet him.  He still lives humbly as he always has done.

The only change in his life came about when the temple’s abbot asked him to move from his rented house nearby and live in a tent on temple grounds to prevent thugs from targeting him. Local security volunteers guard the community and the monastery every night, said Mr Porntep, who helps decipher the beggar’s words.

Adapted from a  bangkokpost.com story.

beggar – a person who lives by asking people for money or food คนขอทาน
donate – to give something such as money or goods to an organisation, especially to a temple, charity, school, political party, etc. บริจาค
suffer from – to be badly affected by a disease, pain, sadness, a lack of something, etc  เป็นโรค, ประสบความทุกข์
polio – a serious infectious disease that mostly affects children. It destroys muscle and can cause paralysis (=lack of movement in your arms and legs). โรคโปลิโอ
stammer – to speak with difficulty, repeating sounds or words and often stopping, before saying things correctly พูดตะกุกตะกัก
normal – typical, usual or ordinary ปกติ
excel – to be very good at doing something ดีเยี่ยม, ยอดเยี่ยม, เก่ง, มีพรสวรรค์
dawn – the beginning of the day, when it begins to get light รุ่งอรุณ, เช้าตรู่
dusk –  the time before night when it is not yet dark เวลาเย็นก่อนค่ำ
popular – a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
anonymous – not known or famous ซึ่งไม่มีลักษณะเด่น
stir – a lot of interest or excitement ความตื่นเต้น
emerge – to become known  เป็นที่ประจักษ์ต่อ
worshipper – someone who is showing love and respect for God, especially during a religious ceremony or prayer ผู้นับถือ,ผู้สักการะบูชา, ผู้สวดมนตร์
headline – the title of a newspaper story that is printed in large letters ข่าวพาดหัว
contribution – a sum of money, supplies, etc. that is given to a person or an organisation in order to help pay for something การบริจาค
rehabilitation – making a system, building, etc., suitable for use again, i.e., bringing it back to a good condition การฟื้นฟูสภาพกิจการ
monastery – a building or serious of buildings in which monks  live, worship and work together วัด, ที่อยู่อาศัยของพร
passers-by – a person who is going past somebody  ผู้คนผ่านไปมาตามถนน
stainless steel – steel that has been treated to stop rust forming on its surface, used for making knives, tools, and other things เหล็กที่ไม่เป็นสนิม
certificate – an official document or record stating that particular facts are true  ประกาศนียบัตร เกียรติบัตร
receipt – a piece of paper which proves that money, goods or information have been received ใบเสร็จ, ใบรับ
administrator – someone whose job is to manage a business, organisation, or institution  ผู้บริหาร
disability – an illness, injury or condition that makes it difficult for someone to do the things that other people do ความพิการ
humble – showing you do not think that you are as important as other people ต่ำต้อย,อ่อนน้อมถ่อมตน
sympathy – a natural feeling of kindness and understanding that you have for someone who is experiencing something very unpleasant ความเห็นอกเห็นใจ
humbly – not large or in a special way อย่างอ่อนน้อม,อย่างต่ำต้อย
abbot – the head monk at a temple เจ้าอาวาส
thug – a man who is violent, especially a criminal นักเลง, อันธพาล
target – to deliberately try to attack someone or something ตั้งเป็นเป้าหมาย
security – protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย
volunteer – someone who is not paid for the work that they do อาสาสมัคร
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
decipher – to succeed in understanding the meaning of something that is hard to understand; to succeed in reading untidy or careless writing แปลความหมาย, ถอดรหัส

Related search: Aiam Cambhiranon, Wat Rai Khing, วัดไร่ขิง

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Writer: Terry Fredrickson
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