Beggar donates B1m to temple
The celebrity beggar at Wat Rai Khing, a popular temple in Nakhon Pathom province, on Thursday donated another one million baht to the temple after he contributed the same amount and made headlines last year.
- Published: 4/04/2013 at 10:05 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
Aiam Cambhiranon, 63, can be seen every day, from dusk to dawn, sitting in front of the main temple at Wat Rai Khing in Sam Phran district, about 56km from Bangkok.
Mr Aiam has begged at the temple for 34 years and does not have any relatives to look after him.
The native of Saraburi suffers from polio and has a stammer and speaks in short sentences.
The friendly and polite beggar never asks passers-by to donate. He just sits on the ground and next to him is a small stainless steel box with which he collects money. There are photographs showing him making donations, getting certificates from the temple and showing receipts for his contributions, and big plastic bags in which he keeps his money.
Porntep Patthawee, 42, an administrator at the temple, said Mr Aiam's disability and the humble way he carries himself draws sympathy from people who meet him.
In April, 2011, the anonymous beggar caused a stir when news emerged that he gave 400,042 baht to the temple so it could buy lotus flowers for worshippers. He made bigger headlines the following year when he donated 999,999 baht for the same purpose. His contribution this year is for buying the lotus flowers and rehabilitation work at the monastery.
Wat Rai Khing is one of the most popular temples in Nakhon Pathom, with about 3,000 people visiting it on weekdays and 5,000 to 10,000 on weekends.
Mr Porntep said when news of Mr Aiam’s big donation emerged, he became well known to the general public. But he still lives humbly as he has always done.
The only change in his life came about when the temple’s abbot asked him to move from his rented house nearby and live in a tent on temple grounds to prevent thugs from targeting him. Local security volunteers guard the community and the monastery every night, said Mr Porntep, who helps decipher the beggar’s words.
Mr Aiam said almost all of the money he collects is donated to the temple every year. He earns 3,000-4,000 baht on weekdays and 20,000-40,000 baht on weekends. He also makes charitable contributions of 100,000-200,000 baht to several other temples in the province.
Aiam Cambhiranon (File Photo)
About the author
- Writer: Online Reporters
- Position: Online Reporters