Crossing the line

0
396

There was a huge cheer, as well as a big sigh of relief, when, on the morning of Saturday 23rd June, eighteen wheelchair using students arrived in the northern city of Nong Khai to signal the end of Rally 1479.

The Rally started forty nine days earlier on May the 7th when the students left the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities in Pattaya. Each day they covered a minimum of thirty kilometers, and no matter how busy the traffic, how heavy the rain fell or how high the temperature reached they never stopped.

Panupong Kunta was one of the students who crossed the country from Pattaya to Nong Khai.Panupong Kunta was one of the students who crossed the country from Pattaya to Nong Khai.

At each town they arrived the students held a workshop, inviting local people to see for themselves just what a person with a disability can achieve.

The workshops were also a chance for local people to learn more about the facilities and rights that are available to people living with a disability, and more than ten thousand came seeking advice and to give support.

For one thousand four hundred and seventy nine kilometers, or 919 miles, the students overcame any problem that arose; exhaustion, illness, mechanical breakages, punctures and the weather, and as they crossed the finish line there were tears of joy from relatives who where there to meet them.

Having a disability does not mean these students have no ability. They crossed the country in a way that would seem impossible to most and they did to inspire others. They have been watched by millions on every national and local television news broadcasts.

They have shown that having a disability does not mean they are disabled.

Phadungsak Sri-Phakdee, teacher at the Vocational School, leads the cheers as they near the finish line.Phadungsak Sri-Phakdee, teacher at the Vocational School, leads the cheers as they near the finish line.

Student Sakda Khamta crosses the finish line after 1479 kms.Student Sakda Khamta crosses the finish line after 1479 kms.