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Muslim Community in a Suburb of Bangkok Recognized as a Sufficiency Economy Learning Center

18 January 2015 (Readers 1211)
On the outskirts of Bangkok, there is a Muslim community that has become a prominent example of a sufficiency community, not at the basic stage, but a more advanced level.

Lam Sai, or Koiroottakwa, community is recognized as a Sufficiency Economy learning center. This old Muslim community is located in Nong Chok district, about 60 kilometers from the Bangkok City Hall.

Residents of this community have been able to maintain their original lifestyle by engaging in farming for generations. Lam Sai community registered with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration in 1994 under the name "Golden Land Community of Koiroottakwa. Before being recognized as a Sufficiency Economy learning center, this community had been selected as an area for a Sufficiency Economy case study.

Mr. Somchai Samarntrakun, Chairman of the Koiroottakwa Golden Land Community, is also recognized as a local wise man in the field of agriculture by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. He said that this community, from the past to the present, has adhered to Islamic principles that local residents help one another, live in an economical way, and use resources appropriately, without extravagance. These principles are in line with the Sufficiency Economy philosophy of His Majesty the King.

Once Lam Sai community was selected as an area for a Sufficiency Economy case study, members of the community opened their houses as Sufficiency Economy learning bases on various subjects, such as renewable energy and biodiesel production, integrated farming, and the raising of economic and fancy animals. Apart from serving as a study center, the community also offers a homestay service for interested visitors.

This self-reliant community has been able to depend on itself. A resident said that living in self-reliance makes local villagers happy, as they have everything and do not need to depend on the outside.

"When we feel like eating something, we may go into our garden to get it. We catch fish in a pond to cook soup. We get vegetables from our own garden. When we arrive home, we dont need to go out to the market again, as we have everything here. We are happy because of this.

Frequently, Lam Sai community welcomes visitors who come to observe the self-reliant way of living in agriculture. This small community, founded about 140 years ago, is a peaceful area, although it is located in the capital, where people lead a modern, urban way of life.

Out of about 700 local residents, 95 percent are Muslims and 5 percent Buddhists. They are able to reduce costs and increase their income through the application of the Sufficiency Economy concept.

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