Kind locals have helped an out-of-work Thai man whose face was so disfigured by a rare disease that a Covid-19 financial aid app blocked him.
The sick man, Nimit Satrin, 67, was unable to work due to the pandemic before kind rescuers heard of his story and brought assistance to his home in Bangkok, Thailand on February 23.
Nimit was born with a rare genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis which slowly covered his entire body in benign lumps.
The pensioner’s vision was affected when the lumps reached his eyelids leaving him with a single working eye.
Despite his condition, the man worked hard to buy food for his family and himself by selling key chains on the roadside.
He had been working as a street vendor until the pandemic prevented him from going out to sell goods again.
His sister, who lived with him, worked as a food seller but the Covid-19 guidelines made it difficult for her to return to work.
Namit, who was badly affected by the pandemic, was unable to receive a government subsidy of 7,000 Baht (233 USD) and half-price food through an app called Paotang as the facial recognition software would not match his face with his ID card.
His distorted face prevented the software from reading his identity so the financial aid was not issued and he was blocked.
After hearing about the old man’s plight, a Thai actor, Bin Bunluerit, pleaded to citizens for help.
Good Samaritans responded including a local rescue team who brought groceries for Nimit and his family as well as 20,000 Baht (665 USD) in cash.
Now, the grateful Nimit was able to buy food and medicine which could last him for several months.
He said: ‘I am thankful for the help that strangers gave me. This means a lot to me.
‘I had no hope that the situation would be fixed. I was just waiting for Covid to finish so we could start earning money again.’
Meanwhile, actor Bin said the old man would need help to cover for his maintenance medicines.
He said: ‘Nimit still cannot work and doesn’t have money for food and medicines. Those who want to help may still do so.’