Government, private-sector join to create disabled vendors area at Floating Market

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Participants proudly announce the creation of a “central market” at the Four Regions Floating Market in Pattaya, dedicated to vendors of goods created by those with disabilities.

Government, business and social-development organizations have come together to give disabled people a chance to build businesses and sell their products in premier locations.

Manat Meepong, managing director of the Four Regions Floating Market in Pattaya, signed an agreement with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, the Pattaya Redemptorist Foundation and Council of Disabled People to create a “central market” at the local tourist attraction dedicated to vendors of goods created by those with disabilities.

Social Development Minister Itsara Somchai and Undersecretary Panita Kamphu Na Ayutthaya were on hand to ink the agreement Sept. 25. Rev. Worawut Saraphan, deputy director of the Redemptorist Foundation for People with Disabilities board; Tananon Praichan, of the Institute of Small and Medium Enterprises; and Wiriya Namsiripongpan, of the disabled council, represented their organizations’ leadership.

Itsara Somchai, Minister of Social Development and Human Security in Thailand presents the opening speech at the signing ceremony.

Itsara called the agreement an important step toward enabling the disabled to support themselves and evidence the landmark 2007 Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Act is working.

The agreement calls for not only the establishment of a disabled-vendors market, but additional measures to train new product makers and ensure they succeed. It will also be a model or test case for the establishment of other central markets.

Under the pact, the organizations will provide consulting services to occupational groups on product development, marketing, designing a seal for disabled persons-made products, and other issues. They will also assist with product distribution, registration and logistics. Finally, the agreement offers disabled manufacturers support in budgeting, materials procurement and human assistants.