BURI RAM: Following 30 years of unsuccessful pleas with officialdom, a 48-year-old man has received his first-ever identity card after media publicised his case.
Sena Sriphet said at his house in tambon Nong Bua of Pa Kham district on Sunday that he was very glad to finally have his ID card and he would like to thank relevant officials for the card issuance.
The man said he was born in Koh Chan district of Chon Buri and was the sixth of eight children whose parents were labourers.
The parents had obtained birth certificates for their first five children but had not done so for the three younger ones, possibly because their work as daily labourers had kept them too occupied to inform the district office, Mr Sena said.
He said his two younger siblings successfully sought their ID cards by themselves, but his three-decade-long quest to secure his own had not been in vain - despite proving to district officials that his DNA matched those of his parents and siblings. He said the DNA examination had cost him about 10,000 baht.
Without an ID card, Mr Sena said that he had been unable to receive any welfare payments - including free medical services from the state - and had been unable to apply for suitable jobs. He had been forced to work as a labourer, while a past accident caused him to suffer a punctured intestine. He had to borrow money to pay for his treatment.
He settled down with his wife in Buri Ram over a decade ago, but she had since died, leaving only his 30-year-old daughter left in the family.
Mr Sena shared his story with reporters in Buri Ram at the end of last month. On Sunday Mr Sena said happily that he was very glad to finally have his first ID card, and he had already used it to apply for government welfare schemes.
"I am happy to be a full Thai citizen. Earlier I lived with hardships especially when I was ill because I had to pay for treatment. Now that I have the ID card, I am eligible for free medical treatment and other welfare rights. I am thankful to all parties that helped get my ID card issued," Mr Sena said.