Destitute laborer subsists on daily food handouts on Pattaya Beach

Sutan settles down on a Pattaya beach bench to unpack his food bag and eat his ration of food for the day.

Pattaya has become a city of charity and salvation for the thousands of destitute people who have lost their jobs, have absolutely no money and are just struggling to survive on daily food handouts.

With the number of COVID-19 victims rising day by day, there is no chance for businesses to open any time soon and for people to be employed again.

People from all walks of life and professions are now unashamedly turning to the breadlines set up all over town and in the neighboring communities. They and their families need food.

On August 13, a Pattaya Mail reporter spoke to Sutan, a 49-year-old homeless, unemployed laborer who had just received his food package and was settling down to enjoy his meal on a Pattaya beach bench, which also served as his home.

He said, “I worked as a laborer in Rayong until about three months ago when due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my employer had to let me go. I came to Pattaya hoping to get some employment, but found to my dismay that the situation here is just as bad or even worse.

“I don’t have a home and sleep wherever I can. Every day I walk along Pattaya and Jomtien beaches because I know that many generous people set up food distribution stands along the footpaths and I am assured of getting some food to get me through one day at a time.

“I’m happy when I get cooked food, because I can eat it right away. There are also dried foods and cooking oil in the packages, but without a place to live and cook, they are of no use to me.”

“I am aware that people think I am dirty and probably a disease carrier, so I keep my distance from the others and try to live as quietly as possible. I don’t know what else to do. Where can I go?”

Sutan eats the prepared food right away and holds on to the dried foods and cooking oil because he doesn’t have a home where he can cook.