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The 2nd Heart to Heart Charity Ride, Thailand

 

 

 


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The Thailand Cycling Club (TCC) is organizing the 2nd Heart to Heart Charity Ride during April 13-20, a ride from Narathiwat, in the South of Thailand, to Bangkok, with a total distance of over 1,200 km. During this Charity Ride funds will be raised for the “Thai Elephant Fund”, a project of the Thailand Environment Institute.  For more information about the Heart to Heart Charity Ride, as well as the “Thai Elephant Fund” contact Mrs.Kasama Panswad, Thailand Cycling Club. Email: [email protected].

The 2nd Heart to Heart Charity Ride

Introduction

Although the trend is changing, Thai people still do not take good care of their health, and physical exercise is not popular among Thais in general. This results in huge expenses for medical care. To be strong, a country needs to have strong and healthy citizens.

The Thailand Cycling Club (TCC) has continuously arranged a great number of campaigns over the past twelve years to encourage people in Thailand to take better care of their health.

Long Distance Bike Rides

One of the activities of TCC is to arrange Long Distance Bike Rides for club members. The participants in these bike rides are ordinary people, such as office workers and housewives, or non-athletes, including people who have never exercised before. Through the Long Distance Rides the participants will act as examples or role models to show that ordinary people can cycle approximately 1,000 km in a week. The objective is to encourage other Thais to start exercising for their own benefit.

Heart to Heart

In some Long Distance Bike Rides, participants also raise funds to support activities that will benefit the society, which is where the name “Heart to Heart Charity Ride” originates.

In this kind of ride all cyclists have to take care of their own personal expenses during the ride (such as transportation, food and accommodation), as well as help raise funds for the selected beneficiary projects 

Cyclists Help Elephants

The Heart to Heart Charity Ride 2003 will raise funds to support the project “Man and elephants - living in harmony”, in support of the Thai Elephant Fund (see Enclosure No. 2).

Target

The expected total amount of funds raised through this project is Bht 500,000.

Details of the 2nd Heart to Heart Bikathon 

1.       Route:                                                  Narathiwat – Bangkok

 

Period

Dates (April 2003)

From

To

Distance (km)

1

Sunday   13

Narathiwat

Sakom Beach, Songkhla

150

2

Monday   14

Sakom Beach

Phattalung

135

3

Tuesday  15

Phattalung

Tha Sala, Nakhon Srithammarat

140

4

Wednesday 16

Tha Sala

Surat Thani

120

5

Thursday 17

Surat Thani

Chumphon

190

6

Friday      18

Chumphon

Prachuab Khirikhan

180

7

Saturday 19

Prachuab

Petchaburi

165

8

Sunday   20

Petchaburi

Bangkok

130

 

2.       Total distance:                                     1,210 km

3.       Dates:                                                   13-20 April 2003

4.       Cyclists:                                                            Males, females, from varying age groups  (20-70), and with varying careers and capabilities

5.       Objective:                                            1. Raising health awareness among Thai people, to encourage them to pay more attention to their own health.

2. Raise funds to support the Thai Elephant Fund.

6.    Responsible organization:                  Thailand Cycling Club (TCC)

7.       Sponsors:                                             …

8.       Start :                                                   Narathiwat (13 April 2003)

Finish:                                                  National Stadium, Bangkok (at 16.30, 20 April 2003)

9.       Opening ceremony, Chairman:            The Governor of Narathiwat (tbc)

Closing ceremony, Chairman:              Mr. Prapat Punyachartruksa, Minister of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry

The Thai  Elephant Fund

The Problem

There are two very different types of problems relating to elephants in Thailand depending on whether the elephants are wild, or domesticated.

In the case of domesticated elephants, due to less forestry related work available, this has forced the mahouts to take their elephants elsewhere, such as urban or tourist areas, to beg for food. This is commonly referred to as the problem of wandering or gypsy elephants.

As for the wild elephants, because of lack of natural habitat and shortage of food and water in the remaining forests, wild elephants are forced to roam further in search of food, bringing them to villages where they eat and destroy village crops. This has happened in villages such as Kuiburi and Pah La-u in Prachuab Kirikhan, where the villagers had to chase away the wild elephants, killing some of them (by shooting or electrocution).

Immediate Solutions

This project is focusing on the problems faced in the Prachuab Khirikhan and Petchaburi Provinces. Several optional solutions have been presented, with two of the more immediate proposed solutions being:

A.        Persuade the wild elephants back into the forest by replenishing adequate water and food sources for them. This can be done by growing wood plants, such as bamboo; by digging small ponds scattered throughout the forest area or in the national parks; as well as by developing or building artificial salt licks available all year round.

B.      As proposal A is still somewhat time consuming, and the villager’s crops are already being destroyed, a more urgent simultaneous solution must be adopted. It is proposed to use domesticated elephants to keep away the wild ones, creating buffer zones.

Long Term Solutions

A more long-term solution is to provide opportunities for the wild elephants and the villagers to live together harmoniously and in a sustainable manner.

C.        The third proposal is aiming to change the careers of the people in the affected areas, from farming and tending fruit orchards, to instead raise cattle for milk and meat. This would allow the wild elephants to come out and graze with the cattle without causing much trouble for the villagers. However, this solution requires a high investment budget to provide start up loans for the villagers.

D.       A fourth solution is for the villagers to continue growing fruits such as pineapples, sugar cane and cassava, actually for the elephants. In other words, instead of farmers selling their crops, the crops would used as food for the wild elephants with an aim to create a tourist attraction, while arranging rides on domesticated elephants to see wild elephants in the national parks.

Budget

Proposed solution

Budget

(Million Baht)

Project time

(Years)

A.                  Grow plants, dig ponds, create salt licks in the forest for the wild elephants

3

2

B.                  Patrolling elephants in a buffer zone

10

3

C.                  Change villagers’ careers (working capital fund)

200

3

D.                  Create tourist attractions based on elephant riding business

10

2

(start up phase)

 

 
 

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