Preecha Chairat, 68, and his wife Sannara welcomed a huge crowd of visitors and handed out red envelopes or “angpao” at their residence on Nitayo in tambon Mak Khaeng on the eve of the Lunar New Year.
The visitors queued up to receive the envelopes containing B200 each. Police and soldiers had arranged for the elderly, the disabled and children to be first in line.
The first recipient, Tai Noonsap, 67, arrived in a wheelchair. He was a labourer who lost his right leg in a road accident about 30 years ago.
He has received “angpao” from the couple for three years. He said he would place the envelope on his altar and pray for the good health of Mr Preecha’s family for a few months before using the money.
Nual Khakhai, 83, was there for the first time. She said she was glad that there were the rich people who liked to help the poor. At present, she and her husband received the government’s monthly allowances for the elderly worth a combined B1,700.
She planned to donate part of the money and spend the rest on necessities. She wished Mr Preecha and his family good health.
Mr Preecha said he had prepared red envelopes containing B5mn in total and had B3 more million for additional handouts.
He said he gave it to workers at his sugar factory, as well as police, soldiers and the poor. He intended to give the red envelopes to everyone queuing at his house today.
Mr Preecha said he had made the donation every Lunar New Year and did not remember exactly how long he had done it. He would continue the activity as long as he could.
Mr Preecha also said he built houses for five families of disabled people and gave each B10,000 and rice every month. He said he liked to help people in trouble except those who brought it on themselves like those borrowing from loan sharks and gamblers.
He said he had a sugar factory, a hotel, a market and other properties. They are now managed by his children since he and his wife retired and now spend time pursuing other interests and donations.
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