The Fate Of The People Living In Slum Areas Of Bangkok

As a tourist, their eyes are set on the glitz and glamour of the city with 5 star boutique hotel Bangkok, humungous shopping centres and internationally acclaimed restaurants. Behind this is Klong Toey which is the largest slum area in Bangkok, and the oldest, located near the big malls and Buddhists temples. This is where around 100,000 individuals are living in squat houses and shacks located in the narrowest alleys with open gutters next to their homes. The people living there are originally from the northern part of Thailand but they ventured into the big city in hopes of finding an employment.

There is a big contrast between the luxurious homes in Bangkok and these people who are living without the presence of electricity and even clean running water.

Prateep Ungsongtham, one of the people living there, said that the situation hasn’t changed since he was a child. She is now 66 years old and the only improvement is that their population in the slum area has doubled. The residents there are the same ones that are working in the biggest wet market in Bangkok while some are employed at the port. They are always in fear that they might be evicted soon because the city is aiming for gentrification.

Ms. Prateep is an advocate when it comes to the rights of the people living in the slum area. She said that there are almost no facilities in the homes, the houses do not have land titles and everyone is always worrying that they might get evicted.

Prateep, along with her sisters, decided to setup the One Baht School which educates young children since they do not own a birth certificate which is a requirement before they can be enrolled in a regular school in Bangkok.

The Port Authority has already released an eviction notice to her family because they are currently catering around 80 students in their school. The officials, however, cannot take much action because of the great support given by the people to the school.

In the end, she was able to succeed because the Port Authority awarded her with a location where the school was eventually relocated. The area might be far from a 5 star boutique hotel Bangkok but it is hope for the children who do not have birth certificates to get the education they deserve.