RIDE WITH THE BLIND
For any walker, rider or driver around the streets of Pattaya it would be hard not to notice the increased popularity of cycling.
The number of cyclists riding around the city, and also around the nearby countryside may be an inconvenience to some, but for a way of staying healthy then riding a bike is an excellent choice.
One thousand riders recently gathered at the Pattaya School for the Blind in Naklua and set off on a 30km charity bike ride around the city to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Foundation for the Blind in Thailand, which is under the royal patronage of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
The event was named ‘Bike with the Blind’, and several blind and visually impaired students from the school climbed onto two seat tandems, with a sighted rider in front, and joined the ride which ended at Pattaya City Hall.
This is the first time many of the students had ever ridden a bike, let alone ride it for a long distance and at such a fast speed. But they loved it, loved the speed and feeling the breeze on their faces.
Almost one hundred thousand Baht was raised for the Pattaya school, and simultaneous bike rides were also taking place in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and several cities in the south, and all to raise awareness and much needed funds for local school for blind and visually impaired students.
The Pattaya School for the Blind currently provides an education for one hundred and ten students, from kindergarden and then grade one up to grade nine, and it also has a vocational training center. But of all the schools in Thailand for blind students, the Pattaya school is unique as it is one of only two such schools which accept children who have multi-disabilities, such as those children who are blind and who are also living with autism, leaning and mobility disabilities are welcomed and educated.
More information can be found at www.fr-ray.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org