Left: Chamnian Aiamsaart and Nioy Aiamsaart queue in front of a bank in Kamphaeng Phet in a viral photo by Facebook user P’Fon Kamonthip. Right: Nioy Aiamsaart wais to the camera when reporters and local officials visit her house on Feb. 17, 2021.

KAMPHAENG PHET — Netizens have donated about 6 million baht – and counting – as of Thursday afternoon to an elderly woman and her son who were seen waiting in a long line to sign up for the government handout, called WeWin.

Nioy Aiamsaart, 81, and her son Chamnian Aiamsaart, 63, moved many hearts around the country after they were filmed outside a branch of Krung Thai Bank in Kamphaeng Phet province on Wednesday. Chamnian and his partially blind mother were feeding each other with plain rice as they waited for their turn. They were two of many rural Thais who lacked a smartphone to sign up online.

Speaking to reporters, Chamnian said he will use the donations to fix up their house and build a farm to sustain their living. Heck, he’ll even quit drinking.

“Overnight, so many millions came into my account. I’m so happy. I will use the money to make a fish pond and grow cassava behind my house,” he said. “I won’t drink anymore.”

Chamnian has already withdrawn 20,000 baht to get medical treatment for his chronic back pain, his mother also had eye conditions that blurred her visions. 

Chamnian and Nioy are seen at their home on Feb. 18, 2021.

The bank and local administrators would help the pair to manage their sums of donation to ensure that Nioy and Chamnian will live comfortably, district official Sadudee Puttarang said. The mother and son live on their own in a one-story house on 1-rai plot of land.

Chamnian said he brought his mother to queue up for the subsidy registration twice already but they were turned away because the quota was filled, even though the pair had camped out in front of the bank for hours.

On their third try, Chamnian said, he and his elderly mother managed to be the first in line and successfully registered for the handout, worth 7,000 baht in total. The cash credit is meant to assist the poorest populations amid the coronavirus pandemic, which left the economy devastated and forced millions out of their jobs.

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People Without Smartphone Forced to Queue up for ‘WeWin’ Subsidy