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Awards to honour devoted mothers around the country

Jintana Kaewkhao

Jintana Kaewkhao

Sapiya Pitsuwan

Sapiya Pitsuwan

Though a tough job, motherhood can be wonderful in so many ways. And with National Mother's Day coming up, some outstanding mums are being honoured for their devotion.

Manee Rungmano, 76, a former hairdresser from Chon Buri, recalls her days of raising eight children during hard times. Some of her older children dropped out of school to help their hard-working mum, and later resumed their schooling through the non-formal education system. Thanks to her care and wisdom, four of her children ended up getting master's degrees. She said she has always taught her children to be honest and responsible.

And despite living with chronic kidney disease and having to go to hospital for dialysis every two weeks, Manee still found energy for good deeds. She founded a volunteer club using her own money and donations to aid sick people and underprivileged children.

Ayutthaya native Wimalai Kreukhot, 61, raised her three children - one of whom was born with a disability - on her own after her husband's death. She did odd jobs in order to put food on the table - be it working on construction sites, in rice fields or scavenging for used bottles and cardboard boxes. She also began making her children's clothes to keep her expenses low.

After her youngest was born, she ended up having to travel to Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok on a weekly basis so her child could undergo surgery and treatment.

Once the treatment was completed, she helped her daughter with physiotherapy until she could use her limbs. After growing up, her daughter found work at a factory nearby despite her disability. Continuing to live in the home she and her children built together, Wimalai began working as a tailor as well as selling used bottles and cardboard boxes to earn extra income. Though none of her children have completed higher education, they are good people with decent jobs.

"I'm content and very proud to be the mother of these three children," she said.

Jintana Kaewkhao, 52, head of the Natural Preservation Network of Bor Nok and Hin Krut in Prachuap Khiri Khan, has devoted her life to protecting the environment for younger generations. Jintana co-led the protest against the Hin Krut power project, pushed for Mae Ramphung Peat Swamp Forest to become a national wetland, which later became a Ramsar Site. She also joined other activists to make her province's coastal area a protected site.

These three women are among the 20 recipients of "Outstanding Mum Award", "Century Mum Award", "Environmental Caring Mum Award" and "Jitsai Jaisikhao: Religious Mum Award". These awards were handed out as part of Mahidol University's "Mahidol - Mother's Day 2014" event on Friday.

The "Outstanding Mum Award" is divided into two categories: a mother who has had healthy children and one who has had a disabled child.

Recipients of this award include: Somporn Khotsuk, 62, from Uttaradit; Manee Rungmano, 76, from Chon Buri; Jai Budphetch, 76, from Krabi; Kesanee Surasiang, 77, from Nakhon Phanom; Kullaya Dechpong, 53, from Phitsanulok; Wimalai Kreukhot, 61, from Ayutthaya; Janwamol Paengyotha, 49, from Nakhon Si Thammarat; and Wanthong Nakwichit, 73, from Sakhon Nakhon.

The Century Mum Award - honouring mothers aged over 100 - were presented to Sunee Saneha, 101, from Phitsanulok; Amporn Klanmalee, 105, from Bangkok; Anong Nitpibul, 104, from Bangkok; Paen Sonsin, 105, from Nakhon Pathom; Noh Sohlae, 105, from Songkhla; and Bai Khamkhon, 103, from Ubon Ratchathani.

The Environmental Caring Mum Award went to: Arunporn Nupa, 51, from Lamphun; Niramol Piakhot, 53, from Prachin Buri; Jamnian Lokwijit, 62, from Nakhon Si Thammarat; Jintana Kaewkhao, 52, from Prachuap Khiri Khan; and Kandaporn Chaipakdee, 49, from Nong Khai.

The "Jitsai Jaisikhao: Religious Mum Award" went to Nakhon Si Thammarat's Sapiya Pitsuwan, 87, mother of former Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan and his 10 siblings. She has devoted her life to teaching her children to read the Koran and to do good deeds.

The honoured mothers have received awards in a ceremony held by the Mahidol University to mark the National Mother's Day.






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