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Big C and Ratchasuda Foundation Hosts Charity Run & Fun Walk for People with Low Vision

Bangkok, March 25, 2015Big C Supercenter has partnered with Low Vision Association (Thailand), under the Ratchasuda Foundation, and Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to organize a press conference on the 2nd edition of ‘The Ratchasuda Foundation—Big C Mini Marathon,’ which will be held to honor Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on the occasion of her 60th Birthday Anniversary and raise fund for the Low Vision Association (Thailand) to help people with low vision. The mini marathon will be held on May 17, 2015.

Ms. Suthida Chuthamas, Expert of Department of Empowerment of persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security,(fifth from left) said, “There are two main categories of vision disability: blindness and low vision. For people with low vision, though the physical appearance of their eyes is virtually normal, different kinds of vision problems may occur. Symptoms can include blurred, hazy or cloudy vision, dark spots or wavy lines in the center of the eyes causing vision problems or loss of an ability of the eyes to see the depth or height when processing a 3D image. Low vision can be found in people at any age. Some were born with low vision, probably caused by German measles, preterm birth or some genetic conditions for instance. In adults, the leading causes of low vision are age-related macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, genetic conditions and injuries. The number of people suffering from low vision in Thailand is increasing annually. Unfortunately, Thailand is lacking a proper policy to tackle this problem. This year’s mini marathon is therefore a big step towards building a collaborative network between public and private sectors to create greater awareness and combine effort to help people with low vision in Thailand, so that they are given more opportunities in terms of care and proper treatment.”

According to Ms.Araya Pramojanee, President of the Low Vision Association (Thailand), the outer appearance of people with low vision is not different from others. As a result of this, their disability is hardly identified. Also, there is no government agency directly responsible for these people, leading them to difficulties living their daily life without care or convenience that really fits their needs. She also said, “Low vision in early ages, especially from newborn to 6 years old, can be treated if the child’s vision development is properly stimulated. Although not being developed into a normal level, their vision can be effectively improved and permanent vision loss can be minimized. Similarly, low vision in adult cases can be treated by using specialized glasses or other optical devices. Although not being brought back to normal, a certain level of vision can be maintained as long as possible. This means a better quality of life of people with low vision.”

“The main objective for which we have partnered with Big C to organize the second edition of this mini marathon is to campaign for better public understanding of low vision, to generate greater public awareness of vision health in accordance with the World Health Organization’s policy on the worldwide prevention of blindness, and to encourage people to take care of their health by doing regular exercise.”
Ms. Warunee Kitjaroenpoonsin, Director of Corporate Affairs of Big C Supercenter PCL (fourth from left)said, “Part of our corporate mission is to be more than a retailer. We always integrate social contributions and community wellbeing into our operations, especially by helping the underprivileged and people with disabilities in any way that makes their life better. This year’s ‘The Ratchasuda Foundation—Big C Mini Marathon,’ which is intended to honor Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on the occasion of her 60th Birthday Anniversary, continues the same path as the last edition and aims to raise fund to benefit activities and projects designed to help people with low vision. All proceeds after costs from this event will be presented to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, chairperson of the Ratchasuda Foundation, to benefit the Low Vision Association.”

Despite being financially supported by some public agencies and organizations as well as many passionate donors, the Association is loaded with costs and expenses, especially those allocated to support an increasing numbers of its members. Two key projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2015. These include the development of Joy Center, intended to provide initial aid to children aged 0-6 years with low vision. Once completed, it will become a center for the development and stimulation of vision in visually disabled children so that their eyesight can be maintained. Moreover, blindness in children can be minimized. The other is the Low Vision Service Center which is a one-stop service center for people with low vision. It provides consultations along with call center for people with low vision, demonstration unit featuring many types of assistive devices and technologies available to help people with low vision, computer and information technology unit and a library for people with low vision.

Highlighted activities of this year’s ‘The Ratchasuda Foundation—Big C Mini Marathon’ are a 10k marathon taking place on Rama 4 Road for the first time, a 3k walk for good health and a 1.07k (999 steps) fun walk in which 60 pairs of people with low vision and normal vision join to raise fund for the Foundation (999 baht donated by Big C per pair).

The first man and woman winning the mini marathon will be awarded with trophies from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The 1st – 5th winners from each age group of the mini marathon will also be awarded trophies. Each of the participants from both run and walk categories who cross the finishing line will receive a medal engraved with symbol of the Foundation. 

Actress and model Pancake - Khemanit Jamikorn said to invite interested people to join the event, “Apart from doing exercise and participating in fun activities with family and friends, it will be a great chance to support a good cause, especially to assist in setting up the Joy Center to provide initial aid to children with vision disability. Come join this event and share the joy of giving help.”

The 360-baht entry fee includes one purple Phufa T-shirt printed with the hand drawing picture by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to celebrate her 60th Birthday Anniversary. Registration for ‘The Ratchasuda Foundation - Big C Mini Marathon’ is available at of Big C Rajadamri, Big C Rama 4, Big C Extra Ratchadapisek and Big C Extra Chaeng Wattana 2, or at Thai Jogging Club and and Low Vision Association (Thailand). The event will be held on May 17, 2015 at 05.00-10.00 hrs at Big C Rama 4. For more information, please contact 1756. Untitled Document