19yo Mum Kills Self As COVID Crisis Left Her Broke

Story ByLee Bullen,Sub EditorJoseph Golder,AgencyCentral European News

A teenage single mother who was a talented amateur artist has killed herself after drawing a portrait of the Thai PM and writing a note explaining that she could no longer afford to take care of her baby during the coronavirus crisis.

The 19-year-old identified only by her first name Plaifon posted a photo of the drawing and note on Facebook and her family later confirmed her death on social media.

The young mum, an amateur artist who worked as a security guard, shared the picture of Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha with lyrics to the song ‘Far’ by Manoj Puttan on her Facebook page in the name Pvlia Cyhfaoin.

She wrote: “My friends, where am I? In the end I cannot reach you. Saddened and desperate, I face such a strange world.

“Poison in food. Cemeteries on streets. Mad man carrying a wheel … My friends, where am I? In the end I’m lost. I want to go home.”

Plaifon added: “Since I started drawing, I never looked at a picture with such low emotion like this one. I drew it with a feeling that I don’t have money to buy milk for my kid.

“Everything is so expensive. I drew this with a feeling that I work 12 hours a day and end up with nothing. I drew this in tears.”

According to local media, there has been a spike in suicides being caused by economic hardship in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis and imposed lockdown measures.

Reports said that a woman poisoned herself outside the Finance Ministry in protest at the situation last week.

Plaifon said: “This is the era I feel the government is being particularly mean.

“It sucks. Have you seen someone choose to die because they have nowhere else to go?”

Her brother Jirasin Amsarika told local media that her baby was being cared for by relatives in the province of Chachoengsao while she worked in the capital Bangkok.

However, the country’s COVID-19 response reportedly left her in dire straits and Plaifon even asked her brother for money to buy milk for her eight-month-old baby.

She also reportedly suffered from a blood disorder that forced her to regularly miss work and lose out on income.

According to local media, she was previously in an abusive marriage but had found love again with her boyfriend Wichai, who worked with her as a security guard in Bangkok.

Wichai said neither of them qualified for government stipends of 5,000 THB (124 GBP) for workers employed informally because their jobs were not on the books.

Wichai said: “Throughout the one year that we’ve been together, I loved her and felt deeply for her situation.

“She had been through a lot, fighting her illness and being abused by her ex-husband… however, she still tried, and made use of her drawing talent to make some money so she could feed her baby. But during this time, things are pretty tough.”

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