ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation
By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM,
THE SUNDAY NATION
IN THE EYES of some Thai people, migrant workers seem to be alien to Thai society, but a closer look shows they are the same as other people who work hard for a better life.
Walking down a small but crowded alley of Pratunam district in downtown Bangkok, you can see many people working hard among the crowd of tourists shopping in this famous shopping district. Many of these workers come from Thailand’s neighbouring countries, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, to work for higher-paying jobs in Thailand.
Pratunam would not be on the top of any list of places to look for migrant workers, and yet many migrants are working here, contributing as an integral part of Thailand’s economy.
Employees in wholesale clothing stores, cooks in street-side restaurants, fruit juice vendors, and labourers in the market, these hardworking migrant workers are driving the economic wheel in the heart of Bangkok.
Sarath Ros, a 30-year-old bus-ticket seller, was one among many migrants working at Pratunam market. He shared his story about moving to work in Bangkok with his wife in the hope of a better life.
“I was a farmer in Cambodia, which did not get me a constant income,” Sarath shared. “Here, I earn up to Bt30,000 per month, which can sufficiently cover the expenditure of our family.”
Even though he earns a much larger income compared to what he could earn in his home country, life in Thailand is tough for him and also for many of his fellow migrant workers.
“It was hard when I first came here. Just because I was a newcomer, people often called the police to arrest me. It was very easy for the police to extort money from migrant workers, even though we had all the legal documents,” Sarath revealed.
A female Mon migrant worker, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that she and her husband had illegally crossed the border into Thailand to work in an effort to have a secure life.
As an illegal worker, she did not have many choices and had to work for a very low salary, she said.
“I am working as an employee in a restaurant for three years, but still cannot achieve my goal. I don’t know what the future holds, I just want me and my family to have a happier life.”
Sarath added that he would prefer going back to Cambodia when he has enough money to open his own business.
“It is certainly harder to make money, but it’s much safer when we live in our homeland,” he said.
Despite the government’s tough measures on migrant workers, they remain an integral part of Thai society and the economy.